How to Clean Up Blood Spills

Instructor: Danielle Haak

Danielle has a PhD in Natural Resource Sciences and a MSc in Biological Sciences

Blood spills happen more than we'd like to admit, especially in medical settings. In this lesson, we'll cover proper, safe procedures for cleaning blood spills from different surface types.

Blood Spills

Accidents happen all the time, and even though it's never good to see blood spilled on a surface, it is good to know how to properly clean up a blood spill. Why is it important? Well, because pathogens (infectious agents like bacteria and viruses) can spread through contact with contaminated blood. Because of this, a blood spill should always be treated as a potentially infectious material and cleaned up quickly and properly.

Equipment

Most places where blood spills are common have pre-assembled spill kits. These include personal protective equipment (PPE) like disposable gloves and protective caps, gowns, masks, and eye wear. When cleaning up blood spills, it's especially important to make sure blood never comes in contact with any of your mucous membranes (found in the mouth, eyes, nose, etc.), and PPE can help prevent direct contact of these sensitive areas.

Blood spill kits also have absorbent (usually disposable) towels, plastic biohazard bags, bleach, a scoop and broom, and disinfecting towels.

Blood Spills on Hard Surfaces

A blood spill on a non-absorbent surface is the easiest to clean. Here is a basic protocol for cleaning up blood spills on hard surfaces.

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