TITLE: UNIVERSAL PRECAUTIONS
ADOPTED: June 13, 2002
203.2. UNIVERSAL PRECAUTIONS
1. Purpose The following guidelines are meant to provide effective precautions against the
transmission of communicable disease in the school setting. No distinction is made
between body fluids from those with a known disease and those with an undiagnosed
illness. The body fluids of all people should be considered to contain potentially
infectious agents. Contact with body fluids always presents a risk of infections, but
in general, the risk is very low.
2. Guidelines Body fluids that have been recognized by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC)
as directly linked to the transmission of Hepatitis B Virus (HBV) or Human
Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) are: blood, blood products, semen, vaginal
secretions, cerebrospinal fluid, synovial fluid, pleural fluid, peritoneal fluid,
pericardial fluid, amniotic fluid, breast milk, and saliva in dental settings. Urine,
feces, nasal secretions, sweat, tears and sputum are not considered infectious unless
they contain visible blood.
These guidelines describe universal precautions and work practices which
effectively minimize exposure to blood borne pathogens like Hepatitis B Virus
(HBV) and Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) as well as other infectious
agents. Also included in the guidelines are the steps to be taken in the event that TIU
personnel are exposed to blood or body fluids containing blood. Through proper
handling of blood and other body fluids, the transmission of blood borne diseases in
the school setting should be negligible.
The virus that causes Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) is a very
fragile virus, more delicate than the Hepatitis B Virus. It is not able to survive in the
environment. HIV does not stay viable long unless it is in ideal conditions, that is, in
body fluids. It can be destroyed by alcohol, peroxide, household bleach, and even
soap and water. Exposure to heat, or even air, inactivates it. No distinction is made
between body fluids from individuals with a known disease or those from
individuals without symptoms or with an undiagnosed disease.
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The body fluids of all people should be considered to contain potentially infectious
agents ("germs"). The term body fluids includes blood, semen, drainage from
scrapes and cuts, feces, urine, vomitus, respiratory secretions (such as nasal
discharge) and saliva. Contact with body fluids always presents a risk of infection
with a variety of germs.
These guidelines include infection control methods and are recommended for use by
Universal Precautions refers to a method of infection control in which all human
blood and other body fluids are treated as if they are known to be infectious for HBV
and HIV. Universal precautions will be observed by all TIU employees in order to
prevent contact with blood or other potentially infectious materials.
1. Whenever possible, avoid direct skin contact with body fluids.
2. Gloves should be used when direct hand contact with body fluids is anticipated
(e.g. treating bloody noses, handling clothes soiled by incontinence).
3. Hands should be washed after removing gloves or as soon as possible after
contact with body fluids.
4. If anticipated skin contact with body fluids occurs when gloves are not
immediately available (e.g. wiping a bloody nose, applying pressure to a
bleeding injury outside the classroom), hands and other affected skin areas
should routinely be washed with soap and water.
5. Other non-disposable items (such as towels used to wipe up bloody fluid) that
are thoroughly soaked with body fluids should be rinsed and placed in a plastic
bag inside a second sealed plastic bag. Soiled clothing should be sent home to be
laundered. Contaminated disposable items (such as tissues, paper towels, and
diapers) should be handled with disposable latex or vinyl gloves.
The most effective technique to prevent the spread of infection is frequent and
thorough hand washing.
1. Effective hand washing is accomplished by using soap, running water and
rubbing the hands together for at least ten (10) seconds.
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2. Hands should be dried on disposable paper towels. Before discarding, these
towels should be used to turn off faucets.
3. Any type of soap is effective; however, antiseptic soap should be available in
settings where medical procedures are performed (e.g. catheterization,
Work Area Restrictions
In order to prevent contact with blood or other potentially infectious materials, the
following work practice controls will be followed:
1. In work areas where there is a reasonable likelihood of exposure to blood or
other potentially infectious materials, employees may not eat, drink, apply
cosmetics or handle contact lenses.
2. Employees with cuts or open wounds on their hands should cover those open
lesions when working with students. In addition, gloves must be worn in
situations where contact with body fluids is a possibility (feeding, diapering).
3. All personal protective equipment (gloves) should be removed immediately or as
soon as possible upon leaving the work area and placed in a plastic-lined
wastebasket for disposal.
4. Any student who bites frequently must have a behavior program in place to work
toward the elimination of this behavior. If the skin is broken by a human bite,
there is a remote possibility that HIV or HBV may be transmitted. The wound
should be washed thoroughly with soap and running water. If another student
was bitten, the parents of that student should be notified and instructed to consult
the student's pediatrician. The student's wound should be treated as indicated
above. The parents of the student who bites another student should also be told
that the bite occurred and that student's mouth should be rinsed as s/he is also at
Personal Protective Equipment
Latex or vinyl gloves shall be worn when it is anticipated that employees will have
hand contact with blood, other potentially infectious materials, non-intact skin and
mucous membranes. Gloves must always be used by the employee when feeding,
diapering, catheterizing, suctioning, examining the mouth, treating bloody injuries
and performing other potentially infectious tasks. Gloves will be available for use by
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Disposable gloves are not to be washed or decontaminated for reuse. They are to be
replaced as soon as practical when they become contaminated or as soon as feasible
if they are torn, punctured or when their ability to function as a barrier is
compromised. The only situation when a set of gloves may be washed and re-used is
during mealtime. The employee should wash his/her gloved hands after feeding one
student if s/he will then feed a second student.
Utility gloves for use by custodial staff may be decontaminated for re-use provided
the integrity of the glove is not comprised. Utility gloves will be discarded if they
are cracked, peeling, torn, punctured or exhibit other signs of deterioration, or when
their ability to function as a barrier is compromised.
All garments which are penetrated by blood should be removed immediately or as
soon as feasible. If the clothing can be bleached, add one-half (1/2) cup of household
bleach to the wash cycle. If the clothing is not colorfast, add one-half (1/2) cup of
non-chlorine bleach (e.g. Clorox II) to the wash.
Housekeeping Practices and Waste Disposal
Housekeeping and waste disposal practices should assure that the worksite is
maintained in a clean and sanitary condition:
1. Mat surfaces, table and desktops, toys and other large equipment should be
sprayed with a disinfectant (such as Lysol) daily and as needed throughout the
day. A bleach solution (1:10) is preferred for objects that may be put in the
2. When a body fluid spill (vomitus, urine, feces, or blood) occurs, it is to be
cleaned. The employee doing the cleanup should use a disinfectant on the
contaminated area. Such disinfectants will kill bacteria, fungi, and viruses. If a
dry sanitary absorbent agent is applied to the area, it should be left for a few
minutes to absorb the fluid, and then vacuumed. The vacuum bag or sweepings
should be disposed of in a plastic bag inside a second sealed plastic bag. The
broom and dustpan should be rinsed with a disinfectant solution. No special
handling is required for vacuuming equipment. Disposable gloves should be
3. If the spill of body fluids is very small (i.e. a few drops of blood from a bloody
nose or a small cut), the area may be cleaned using a bleach solution or a
disinfectant and paper towels. The person doing the cleaning shall wear gloves.
All used gloves and contaminated materials should be placed in a plastic bag for
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4. Infectious waste includes but is not limited to contaminated gloves, blood-tinged
soft waste (band-aids, gauze, cotton balls) sanitary napkins and diapers.
Infectious waste should be placed in a plastic bag. The bag should be tied off
with a twist-tie, placed inside a second sealed plastic bag and then disposed of
daily in the regular trash.
5. Student clothing contaminated with other body fluids (vomitus, urine, feces)
should also be handled as little as possible. All employees who handle soiled
clothing will wear disposable latex or vinyl gloves. Clothing should be sent
home for washing.
Post Exposure Evaluation And Follow-up
When an employee incurs an exposure to a bodily fluid, the incident should
immediately be reported to the employee's immediate supervisor. An exposure
incident is defined as non-intact skin contact with blood or body fluids containing
visible blood. "Non-intact skin" includes skin with dermatitis, hangnails, cuts,
abrasions, chafing, etc., as well as the mucous membranes of the eyes, nose, and
mouth. It also includes human bites which break the skin. The supervisor and
employee shall complete a written report which documents the circumstances and
route of exposure. The exposed employee should contact his/her personal physician
for a medical evaluation.
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