Minimizing Exposure to Blood and Body Fluids

Author(s):
Sonia Miller, RN, BSN, MSN, CIC Chief, Infection Prevention & Control

Fort Belvoir Community Hospital
Fort Belvoir, VA

Published:
October 3, 2014

Abstract

Occupational exposure to contaminated medical devices, specifically percutaneous injuries from contaminated sharps, account for the largest number of healthcare personnel exposures to blood and other potentially infectious materials. To minimize this exposure risk, the most solid base for healthcare personnel safety includes evaluation, selection, and implementation of engineering controls; safe work practices; comprehensive safety programs; and annual review of those elements. This chapter will review device-related causes of sharps injuries, available technologies for reducing injuries, and procedure- and device-specific exposure control measures. A brief discussion will be presented on international healthcare personnel safety and public health relating to exposures to blood and other potentially infectious materials.