Prevention of Bloodborne Pathogens

Instructor: Artem Cheprasov

Artem has a doctor of veterinary medicine degree.

Bloodborne pathogens can be deadly. As a result, you want to do everything you can to prevent their transmission. This lesson goes over many important ways by which you can accomplish this.

Preventing The Transmission Of Viruses

How do you prevent computer viruses, malware, spyware, and so on from getting into your PC or Mac? You probably have a firewall set up, an antivirus programs, and maybe even some malware and spyware detection programs. The point is, you have a lot of ways by which you can prevent all those viruses, Trojans, and more!

Luckily, there are also just as many varied ways of preventing the transmission of bloodborne pathogens. Let's go over many of them.

What Are Bloodborne Pathogens?

A pathogen is an agent of disease. The agent isn't the disease itself, but it's entry into our body may end up causing a disease. Pathogens include viruses, bacteria, fungi, parasites, and even misfolded proteins called prions. A bloodborne pathogen is thus an infectious agent that can be found in and transmitted via our blood.

But let's not stick our head in the sand and pretend that's the only way bloodborne pathogens can be transmitted. Despite the name, bloodborne pathogens can be transmitted via many other bodily fluids besides blood. It's important to know that so you can better understand the ways we can prevent their transmission. These bodily fluids include:

  • Synovia fluid, the one in joints
  • Plural fluid, the one lubricating the lungs
  • Cerebrospinal fluid, a fluid that bathes your brain and spinal cord
  • Peritoneal fluid, the fluid found in the abdominal cavity
  • Amniotic fluid, the kind of liquid that surrounds a fetus
  • Vaginal secretions
  • Semen
  • Saliva, when it's tinged with blood

Preventing Bloodborne Pathogens

Knowing this, how can we prevent the transmission of these pathogens? Let's go back to that computer analogy from before. One way we can avoid all the trouble with computer infections is to simply avoid contact with a computer in the first place. No computer, no worries. Similarly, the avoidance of contact with blood and those other bodily fluids will ensure you avoid bloodborne pathogens.

But that may not always be possible just like it's kind of impossible to avoid computers nowadays. But there are still ways you can protect yourself. For instance, it would be silly to buy a computer and not install a protective program. You install the program so it can protect you from a potential infectious agent in the future. Similarly, it would be silly to not vaccinate your body. Vaccinations are like the installation of an organic program in your body that protects you from potential infectious agents in the future.

Vaccinations can help protect us against many diseases.

An antivirus program helps stop the transmission of dangerous computer infections. The program screens for good and bad programs and files and then alerts you if it finds any bad things. You can then discard the infected file so it doesn't infect anything else. Well, we can similarly use various technologies to screen bodily fluids, namely blood, for infectious agents. If any are found, the blood is discarded so any pathogens therein will not infect another person when a blood transfusion occurs.

Your computer antivirus programs can also clean the computer of any suspicious programs or files automatically, even if your computer looks clean and free of any infectious programs to your eye. Likewise, you should automatically clean your hands prior to and after coming into contact with any sick person, even if you wore gloves, a mask, and gown. This is true even if your hands look clean and free of any visible particles to your eye.

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