Universal Precautions are practices which are intended to protect persons from infection through contact with blood or body fluids and are based on the premise that all blood and body fluids are a potential source of infection. The blood-borne diseases most commonly transmitted in this manner are Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C and HIV. The viruses for these diseases can be transmitted through blood and through such body fluids such as semen and vaginal secretions. Body fluids such as saliva, sweat, tears, urine, vomit or mucous, unless they are contaminated with blood, are not considered infectious. Viruses enter the body through breaks in the skin such as open sores or puncture wounds. They may also enter through the mucous membranes of the mouth, nose and eyes. Persons who carry the Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C or HIV viruses may not display any symptoms of disease and they may not be aware they are infected. It is imperative that Universal Precautions be used by all persons who have contact with blood and/or potentially infectious body fluids.
The School District will:
a) Maintain current policies, regulations and practices with regard to Universal Precautions.
b) Provide training to all staff with regard to Universal Precautions through the Health and Safety Officer.
c) Provide supplies and equipment needed to practice Universal
Supervisors, Department Heads and Principals will:
a) Ensure all staff within their area of responsibility have received training in Universal Precaution procedures.
b) Ensure that all staff are aware of their own responsibility to follow the practices outlined in this regulation.
All employees are expected to:
a) Attend and participate in training provided on Universal Precautions.
b) Follow the practices outlined in this regulation and in the orientation.
All employees and any volunteers working on school district sites will receive training in Universal Precautions. Newly appointed staff must receive training on or before the first day of work.
C. Prevention and Control Method
1.0 Universal Precaution Techniques
- Hand washing with soap and water should always be done under the following circumstances:
- Before preparing food.
- Before meals.
- After toiletting and diapering.
- Before and after providing first aid.
- After handling blood or body fluids.
- Wash your hands for 30 seconds after contact with blood and other body fluids contaminated with blood.
- Use disposable latex gloves when you encounter blood, especially if you have open cuts or chapped skin. Wash hands as soon as you remove the gloves.
- Use disposable absorbent material like paper towels to stop bleeding.
- Cover cuts or scratches with a bandage until healed.
- Immediately clean up blood-soiled surfaces with disinfectant.
- Discard blood-stained material in a sealed plastic bag and place in a lined, covered garbage container.
- Put blood-stained laundry in sealed plastic bags and machine wash separately in hot soapy water.
- Personal Protective Equipment
Staff who are required to handle blood and body fluids will be provided with appropriate personal protective equipment. Belt packs containing disposable gloves, absorbent material and band-aids will be provided to all staff whose duties may involve contact with blood and body fluids. Staff will also have access to barrier masks as well as tongs and “sharps” containers for disposal items such as used syringes and condoms.
Disposable latex gloves must be worn in situations where blood or body fluids may be encountered. The gloves must be disposed of immediately after use and followed by hand washing using soap.
b) Barrier masks
The First Aid attendants will have available disposable barrier masks to be worn when performing artificial resuscitation or cardio-pulmonary resuscitation.
c) Sharp Objects
Any sharp objects which might be contaminated with blood or body fluids should not be handled by hand. They should be picked up with a pair of tongs and disposed of in a puncture-proof sharps container.
The clean-up of any spill involving blood and body fluids should involve the following procedure:
a) Wear disposable latex gloves.
b) Clean-up the spill using an absorbent material and/or paper towels.
c) Bag the absorbent and/or paper towels.
d) Disinfect the area of the spill using a disinfectant.
e) Remove and dispose of gloves and wash hands.
D. Protocol Procedure in the Event of an Exposure
In the event of a possible exposure the procedure is as follows:
- The incident will be reported to Epidemiology and Disease Control (EDC – phone 388-2220) as soon as possible. Treatment for HIV infection is most effective within two hours. Outside of school hours, please contact the nearest hospital emergency department.
- EDC will determine if an exposure has occurred.
- EDC will investigate the situation and make the appropriate recommendations to the families involved, family physicians and the schools as necessary. While each incident will be handled on a case by case basis, generally the recommendations will be to test the individuals involved in the incident.
- An Incident Report must be completed, signed by the Principal and forwarded to the Secretary Treasurer’s Department.
E. Resource Materials
The following pages contain information which will assist school staffs with definitions and procedures to alleviate concerns with respect to blood-borne diseases.
- Universal Precautions Information & Poster
- HIV/AIDS and Child Care
- Hepatitis A
- Hepatitis B
- Hepatitis C
The description of these prudent practices apply to the prevention of infectious disease transmission and care must be taken to follow the outlined application of this regulation to ensure the health, safety and security of all persons working with our children.
Please refer to: Regulation 4213(a) Universal Precautions (attachment)
Greater Victoria School District
- Approved: May 26, 1997