First Aid Guide

INFECTION CONTROL AND UNIVERSAL PRECAUTIONS

What are communicable or infectious diseases?

A Disease which can be passed or transmitted from one person to another is called a communicable or infectious disease. Many diseases can be passed from one person to another, some more easily than others.

Infection is a condition caused by disease, most are caused by bacteria and viruses. Bacteria do not depend on another organism to survive, and can live outside the body. Viruses are dependent on another organism to survive, and cannot live outside the body.

What are Universal or Standard precautions?

The Universal or Standard precautions means, considering all blood and body substances are potentially infectious, regardless of the persons perceived risk or infectious status.

Standard precautions are required for a basic level of infection control. These precautions include good hygiene practices (washing and drying hands before and after contact), the appropriate disposal of contaminated waste (especially sharps) and use of sterile techniques. These precautions should apply to all body fluids, secretions and excretions (including dried blood and saliva, but not including sweat.

How can I reduce the risk of Infection?

To reduce the risk of infections, you should follow these simple rules:

Avoid touching or being splashed by the victim’s body fluids where possible.

Place an effective barrier between you and the victim’s body fluids, preferably disposable doves. Cover any cuts, scrapes or skin conditions you may have by wearing protective clothing. If gloves are not available, place a clean, dry cloth between your hand and the wound.

Use good hygiene practices, particularly washing and drying hands before and as soon after contact as possible.

Avoid touching needles and other sharps which may be contaminated. Where possible, alternatives should be used to pick up the object, ie tongs, and bring the sharps container to the object, not the object to the container. The containers should conform with Australian Standard AS 4032 and be clearly labelled

Dressings and bandages which have been contaminated with blood or body fluids, should be placed in leak proof bags or containers. Ask your organisation, or phone your local authority about the disposal of the leak proof bag or container.

Be prepared with an adequately stocked First Aid Kit.

If splashed in the eye, rinse the eye and surrounding are gently with water or saline.

If you get blood in your mouth, spit it out and rinse it several times with water.

 

 

Southern Cross
First Aid Skills Training

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