Bloodborne Pathogens and the Law U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has issued regulations for the employers to protect employees from occupational exposure to bloodborne pathogens. Who needs OSHA Bloodborne Pathogens Training? Any employee who is required to handle human blood or other potentially infectious materials (OPIMs) or any employee who has the potential for occupational exposure to blood or OPIMs needs OSHA bloodborne pathogens training. Talk with your supervisor for more information on specific procedures performed or devices approved for use in your department.
What are Bloodborne Pathogens? Microorganisms such as viruses, bacteria, or parasites that can enter the human blood stream causing diseases. Examples of Bloodborne Pathogens: Common examples include hepatitis B, hepatitis C, and HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) How do they enter the bloodstream? These microorganisms may be transmitted when mucous membranes or non-intact skin (cuts, abrasions, burns)are exposed to human blood or body fluids. Other modes of transmission include blood splashes, handling contaminated items, needle sticks or cuts from contaminated sharps. What are Hepatitis Viruses? Hepatitis is inflammation (pain and swelling) of the liver. Viruses that cause inflammation of the liver are called Hepatitis viruses.
What is Hepatitis? Hepatitis means inflammation, redness, swelling, and soreness of the liver. Hepatitis B Virus (HBV): Hepatitis B is a contagious virus that causes inflammation of the liver. How is Hepatitis B spread? HBV is transmitted by sharing needles, razors, and toothbrushes. Body fluids, saliva, and semen that are exchanged during sexual interactions cause transmission. HBV is also transmitted from mother to infant during her pregnancy.
Who is at risk for Hepatitis B? Intravenous drug users Sexual contact with partner infected with Hepatitis B Living with someone with chronic Hepatitis B Men who have sexual contact with other men Having oral-anal sexual contact with someone who has hepatitis B Traveling to a country with high rates of Hepatitis B Health-care and public safety workers who have contact with blood or body fluids or blood-contaminated products Hemodialysis patients Birth of a child to a Hepatitis B infected mother
What are the symptoms of Hepatitis B? Most of the people newly infected with Hepatitis B do not show any symptoms. Most common symptoms if present include: Fever Fatigue Jaundice (yellowing of the skin and/or eyes) Nausea and Vomiting Abdominal pain Dark urine Clay-colored bowel movements Loss of appetite
How long do Hepatitis B symptoms last? Symptoms may begin as early as 60 days or up to 150 days after exposure to HBV. Ninety-five percent of the adults recover completely from HBV and do not become chronically infected.
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