Skip to main content

Bloodborne Pathogens Handout

This document is intended for trade employees and housekeeping services employees that may encounter blood or other potentially infected material such as semen, vaginal secretions, feces or vomit contaminated with visible blood.

This handout is available for trade and housekeeping services employees who have already attended the University of Maryland, Bloodborne Pathogens training, and are trained on the blood clean up procedures. It is intended to provide a review of safe clean up procedures. It is not to be used in place of attendance at a bloodborne pathogens class.

What are Bloodborne Pathogens?

  • Microorganisms present in the blood of persons who are infected with them

What are examples of diseases that are caused by bloodborne pathogens?

  • Hepatitis B infection
  • Hepatitis C infection (Hepatitis A is NOT transmitted by blood - it is transmitted by eating)
  • HIV infection (Human Immunodeficiency Virus), which causes AIDS

How are bloodborne pathogens transmitted?

  • By blood-to-blood contact
  • Not by casual contact such as hugging, shaking hands, sneezing

Which body fluids may contain BBP?

  • Human blood, semen
  • Not urine, feces, vomit - unless visibly contaminated with blood

What are Universal Precautions?

  • You must treat all human blood as though it may contain these viruses
  • You cannot tell if someone is infected because many of these diseases do not show symptoms

What are the routes of infection of BBP in the general population?

  • Sexual contact
  • Sharing needles among injecting drug users
  • Mother to unborn child

What are the routes of infection of BBP in the workplace?

  • Puncture or cut from a contaminated sharp object (needle, broken glass). This is the highest risk.
  • Contact with broken skin (cut, hangnail, dermatitis)
  • Contact with mucous membranes of eyes, nose, mouth

How can I protect myself at work?

  • Wear gloves if you need to touch human blood or used condoms
  • Do not pick up needles or syringes with your hands. Use tongs or broom and dustpan.
  • Do not use your hands to compress trash (to make more room in the bag).
  • Use disinfectant to wipe up blood.
  • Always wash your hands after you remove your gloves.
  • Always wash your hands before you eat lunch and before you leave at the end of the day. Are there vaccines available to prevent any of these diseases?
  • There is a vaccine to prevent Hepatitis B
  • 3 shots, given over a period of 6 months
  • You may get the shots for free at the University Health Center
  • Fill out the back of the attendance form, indicating if you want the shots
  • Your supervisor will schedule the first appointment

What should I do if I am stuck or cut with a contaminated sharp object (such as a needle stick or cut from broken glass, or if I get blood on an open cut, or in my mouth or eyes)?

  • Wash the exposed area
  • Go to the Health Center Immediately
Back to Top