[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Commissioners of the Township of Patterson 8-13-1992. Amendments noted where applicable.]
This policy shall be known as the "Patterson Township Exposure Control Policy for All Employees, Including but Not Limited to Police and Firemen."
It is the intent of the Patterson Township Board of Commissioners to minimize or eliminate all employee exposure to infectious diseases and or exposure to blood-borne pathogens.
Since no one can reliably identify a person infected with HIV or other blood-borne pathogen, blood and body fluid precautions shall be consistently used for all persons. This is especially important in an emergency setting such as a car accident or gunshot wound in which the risk of blood exposure is increased and any infection status of the victim is usually unknown.
Precautions shall be maintained for every person attended if contact with their blood or body fluid is possible, regardless if they are known to you or not. Body fluids include saliva, sputum, gastric secretions, urine, feces, semen, breast milk, tears, sweat and blood. Precautions are especially important in an emergency-care setting in which the risk of blood exposure is increased. This includes but is not limited to car accidents, gunshot wounds, caring for trauma patients or assisting OB-GYN emergencies.
Nonsterile gloves shall be worn if contact with blood or body fluids may occur. The protection shall be impervious to blood or body fluids particularly in the chest and arm areas.
A gown shall be worn if soiling of clothing with blood or body fluids may occur. The protection shall be impervious to blood or body fluids particularly in the chest and arm areas.
Masks shall be worn if aerosolization of blood or body fluids may occur or when there is a potential for splashing or spraying of blood or body fluids.
Protective eye wear shall be worn when splattering of blood or body fluids may occur.
Hand washing shall be done after contact with any person, regardless of whether or not gloves were used. Hands contaminated with blood or body fluids shall be washed as soon as possible and a report of possible exposure made on a blood body fluid exposure report.
Mouth-to-mouth resuscitation: CDC recommends that EMS personnel refrain from having direct contact with patients whenever possible and that adjunctive aids be carried and utilized. These include pocket masks and face shields.
Contaminated articles. Bag all nondisposable articles soiled with blood or body fluids, and handle according to proper procedure. Wear gloves when handling soiled articles. Bloody or soiled nondisposable articles shall be rendered safe for handling prior to being placed back into service. Bloody or soiled disposable equipment shall be carefully bagged and discarded according to proper procedure for biohazardous waste.
Blood spills should be cleaned up promptly with a solution of sodium hypochlorite (household bleach) of five and twenty-five hundredths percent (5.25%) diluted with water in a ratio of one to ten (1:10).
Needle sticks or blood exposures. When a needle stick or blood exposure occurs, the employee should immediately cleanse the wound or wash off the blood. The exposure should then be reported and necessary paperwork completed. The employee will then be referred to the appropriate hospital or physician for testing and treatment. The employee may sign a waiver form and refuse treatment.
When routine cleaning of vehicles and equipment is done, all personal protective equipment will be checked. If any is found to be missing or incomplete, replacement will be purchased immediately.
Thorough hand washing is imperative in the following situations:
"Barrier precautions" is the use of protective clothing and/or equipment. Barrier precautions include the use of gloves, masks, protective eye wear, face shields and gowns or plastic aprons. This equipment must be utilized when contact with blood, body fluids or tissue containing visible blood or nonintact skin is expected.
Turnout gear can be considered to be protective clothing. When this equipment is used for this purpose, if there is contact with blood or other potentially infectious body fluids, this clothing will be considered contaminated, and proper cleaning procedures must be followed. This will also prohibit the transport of this gear in a personal vehicle or hanging in an area that is considered clean.
The following personal protective equipment (PPE) will be provided and placed in all police and fire vehicles:
Any durable garment that a person wears during the course of his or her duties that becomes contaminated will be appropriately cleaned at the township's expense. Such garments should be removed as soon as possible and properly bagged. All PPE shall be removed prior to leaving the affected area and bagged with the proper bags. All employees are required to keep a spare uniform available for immediate change.
Any blood/body fluid exposure report must be filed with the Township Secretary when any person is in contact with any blood or body fluids during the course of his or her township duties.
An exception report must be completed whenever universal precautions are not observed, documenting the extraordinary circumstances that existed which justified the setting aside of this policy. All such occurrences will be reviewed by the Township Board of Commissioners and the person's immediate supervisor for prudence and appropriateness.
The Township Secretary, after receiving the exposure report, will initiate a workman's compensation record to be kept with a copy of the incident report until such time as a determination can be made as to whether or not a claim is indicated.
Any used personal protective equipment (PPE) will be considered biohazardous waste. This PPE must be placed in the proper biohazardous bags and properly labeled. If an ambulance is at the scene, ask if they will take the waste for proper disposal. Another source of disposal will be the Medical Center of Beaver County.
Contaminated laundry shall be handled as little as possible. It should be bagged in the location where it was used and shall not be sorted or rinsed in that location. All contaminated laundry will be shipped to an off-site laundry facility in bags or containers that are properly labeled. Woodlawn Laundry in Aliquippa is equipped to handle these materials.