Universal Precautions

Universal precautions is an approach to infection control to treat all human blood and certain human body fluids as if they were known to be infectious for HIV, HBV and other blood borne pathogens


Bloodborne Pathogens

Anyone working with a patient population must be aware and trained in order to help control the spread of disease found within bloodborne pathogens (BBP). In the workplace, BBP guidelines are regulated by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) within each state. These guidelines not only protect the caregiver but the patient as well.

Purpose: Understand what a Bloodborne Pathogen (BBP) is and how to avoid becoming infected when delivering medical care.


Gloves (latex &/or nonlatex)

Sterile water/Hydrogen Peroxide (H2O2)/Saline (contact solution) 10% Betadine or povidone solution

Antibiotic ointment (Triple antibiotic: Neosporin) Sterile nonstick gauze

Steri-strips, butterfly closure, Band-Aids

What is a bloodborne pathogen?

Infectious microorganisms found within human fluids that can cause disease.

What fluids contain BBP’s?

Blood, synovial fluid, cerebrospinal fluid, semen, vaginal secretions, or other fluids where blood is visible. Notice that sweat and saliva ARE NOT listed. Saliva can contain BBP’s DURING dental procedures.

What items are used to protect caregivers and patients from exposure:

Latex gloves, face shields, gauze and bandages, protective eyewear, biohazard bags, disinfectants, sharps container.

Keys to limiting exposure

  1. Wear protective gloves whenever working with ANY amount of bodily fluid
  2. Always clean and cover open wounds
  3. Receive the appropriate vaccinations
  4. Use disinfectant whenever a surface comes in contact with bodily fluids
  5. No eating or drinking in treatment areas
  6. Develop cleanliness protocols for athletes/patients prior to receiving treatment
  7. Never cap a needle. Dispose of needle in the sharps container
  8. Dispose of contaminated materials in the biohazard receptacles
  9. Follow the personal protection plan (PPP) of your facility!

Example procedures for simple wound cleaning

  1. Put on latex gloves
  2. Utilize gauze or another dressing to reduce/stop bleeding with simple pressure
  3. Clean the wound by wiping gently AWAY from the wound, never across the wound. You may choose to have the patient wash the wound with soap and water to further cleanse the treatment area prior to bandaging.
  4. Treat the area with an antibiotic ointment such as Neosporin
  5. Place the appropriate size bandage over the entire wound.
  6. Gather all contaminated materials into the palm of one hand and make a fist
  7. With the other hand remove the latex of glove of the hand with the materials
  8. Place the removed glove into the palm of the remaining glove and remove
  9. Dispose of materials in the biohazard container

The chance of infection during athletic participation is minimal. However, precautions against exposure should ALWAYS be taken regardless of the amount of blood/fluid present. Always wear gloves and always wash your hands.

This content is provided to you freely by BYU-I Books.

Access it online or download it at https://books.byui.edu/ess_349_lab_manual/universal_precaution.