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Blood or Body Fluids

202. Blood or Body Fluids

A human bloodborne pathogen is a pathogenic microorganism present in human blood that can cause disease in humans. If during the course of laboratory work there is a potential for coming in contact with human blood or other potentially infectious materials, individuals should receive Bloodborne Pathogens Training. The Center for Disease Control Universal Precautions is used as an approach to infection control. The concept behind Universal Precautions is to treat all human blood (blood and blood products include all waste bulk human blood, serum, plasma, and other blood components) and certain human body fluids as if known to be infected with Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV), Hepatitis B virus, and other bloodborne pathogens. Individuals should routinely use appropriate barrier precautions to prevent skin and mucous membrane exposure during contact with blood or body fluids due to the potential transmission of above mentioned infectious agents.


  • Barrier protection should be used at all times to prevent skin and mucous membrane contamination with blood, body fluids containing visible blood, or other body fluids (cerebrospinal, synovial, pleural, peritoneal, pericardial, and amniotic fluids, semen and vaginal secretions). The type of barrier protection used should be appropriate for the type of procedures being performed and the type of exposure anticipated. Examples of barrier protection include lab coats, disposable gloves, eye and face protection.
  • Gloves are to be worn when there is potential for hand or skin contact with blood, other potentially infectious material, or items and surfaces contaminated with these materials.
  • Face protection (face shield, safety glasses or goggles and mask) should be worn during procedures that are likely to generate droplets of blood or body fluid to prevent exposure to mucous membranes of the mouth, nose and eyes.
  • Protective body clothing (lab coats, gowns or aprons) should be worn when there is a potential for splashing of blood or body fluids.
  • Hands or other skin surfaces should be washed thoroughly and immediately if contaminated with blood, body fluids containing visible blood, or other body fluids, and after removal of gloves.
  • Avoid accidental injuries which can be caused by needles, scalpel blades, laboratory instruments, etc., when performing procedures, cleaning instruments, handling sharp instruments, and disposing of used needles, pipettes, etc.
  • To prevent needle-stick injuries, needles should not be recapped, bent, removed from the syringe, or otherwise manipulated by hand. (HYPERLINK EMPLOYEE AND STUDENT BLOOD AND BODY FLUID EXPOSURE DOCS).
  • Used needles, disposable syringes, scalpel blades, pipettes, and other sharp items are to be placed in puncture resistant containers marked with a biohazard symbol for disposal.
  • All specimens of blood should be kept in well-constructed containers with a secure lid to prevent leakage during transport.
  • Biological safety cabinets should be used whenever procedures are conducted that have a high potential for generating droplets.
  • Pipetting by mouth is forbidden!
  • Laboratory work surfaces should be decontaminated after a spill of blood and when work activities are completed.
  • Persons that may come in contact with blood and body fluids should attend yearly training. Contact EH&S for information regarding Bloodborne Pathogens Training.