Universal Precautions

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Research shows that the risk of getting a significant contagious disease in a school setting is extremely small. However, school staff and contracted personnel in the school need to decrease the possibility of exposure to bloodborne pathogens including HIV, HBV, HCV.
“Universal precautions” means protecting oneself from exposure to blood or body fluids through the use of latex gloves, masks, or eye goggles; cleaning blood and body fluid spills with soap and bleach solution and water; and disinfecting and incinerating or decontaminating infected waste before disposing in a sanitary landfill.

Universal Precautions in the School Setting
Reduce risk of exposure to bloodborne pathogens by using universal precautions to prevent contact with blood and body fluids.

Begin by attending to the injured person:
  • Whenever blood and body fluids are present, a barrier (latex rubber gloves, thick layer of paper towels, or cloth) should be used to minimize exposure of the attending person while the injury is cleansed and/or dressed.
  • Soiled clothes of the injured person must be bagged to be sent home.
  • Place waste in a plastic bag for disposal.
  • Remove gloves and dispose in plastic bag.
  • Thoroughly wash hands with soap.

Clean and disinfect environmental surfaces:
  • Whenever cleaning and disinfecting environmental surfaces in which blood and body fluids are present, a barrier (rubber utility gloves durable enough to withstand environmental cleaning and disinfecting, thick layer of paper towels, or cloth) should be placed between the blood and the attending person.
  • Use disposable paper towels or other disposable materials to remove blood and body fluids.
  • Disinfect the affected area(s) and cleaning tools with a commercial disinfectant (mixed according to manufacturer’s specifications) or bleach solution (approximately 1/4 cup common household bleach per gallon of tap water, mixed fresh daily). The affected surface being disinfected should remain wet for several minutes.
  • Secure all waste in a plastic bag for disposal.

Clean up for attending person:
  • Remove gloves, dispose and secure in a plastic bag.
  • Immediately apply soap. Thoroughly wash hands with soap by rubbing hands together (avoid scrubbing hands). Pay particular attention to fingertips, nails and jewelry. Rinse with fingers pointing downward.
  • If running water and soap are not immediately available, a waterless antiseptic cleaner or moist towelette may be used until hands can be thoroughly washed (use of antiseptic cleaner or towelette is NOT a substitute for handwashing). WASH HANDS AS SOON AS POSSIBLE.

How to Make Universal Precautions Kits for Schools