Many things in life are uncertain to us, but one thing is for sure- accidents are bound to happen whether we like it or not. Unexpected scars or injuries are, even though we always try to prevent them from happening as much as possible. Now, instead of anticipating and waiting for the inevitable, one should at least learn how to handle unanticipated situations when they occur with focus and efficiency. Not many people know that blood is one of the most dangerous fluids to clean up and should not be treated lightly.
In this article, we will be giving you helpful insight as to why it is vital to disinfect any form of blood spillage before you clean it to avoid any unwanted infections or contaminations.
Why is blood a hazard if not cleaned properly?
Did you know that blood is one of the most dangerous fluids to clean correctly? This is because the blood might expose you to illnesses such as MRSA, Hepatitis B and C, HIV, and others. Given the stakes, you must recognise the risks associated with cleaning up blood without training. It would be tragic if someone developed one of these diseases due to improperly cleaned blood.
Blood travels to hard-to-reach and usually unnoticed places, as blood spills rarely occur in a concentrated area. In addition, as a liquid, blood is known to penetrate porous materials and fabrics such as furniture, draperies, and carpets. Blood can also seep beneath the tile by way of the porous grout. Even if you are meticulous in cleaning, you may accidentally miss a location, leaving others with hazardous exposure. Absorbent materials are among the most difficult to clean, which is why professional cleaners are well-versed in sanitizing and disinfecting all areas and surfaces that are difficult to clean.
Should you use disinfectant when cleaning blood?
Disinfection is the process of reducing the number of microorganisms to a level where they pose no risk to anyone. Even if you are confident that nothing was contaminated during the cleaning process, it is necessary to sanitize the area as a vital precaution. It is only effective when surfaces and equipment have been thoroughly cleansed with detergent and water. Clean hard surfaces with warm water and soap, then disinfect with a 1000ppm (0.1%) chlorine-releasing agent/hypochlorite solution or chlorine dioxide solution.
The local cleaning/disinfection policy or practice will define the disinfectant to be used. If the hypochlorite or chlorine dioxide solution is applied according to the manufacturer’s recommendations, it will destroy germs and viruses. Hypochlorite solutions are corrosive; therefore, it is advisable to rinse toilets, mattresses, and stainless steel surfaces with warm water after use. Some solutions of chlorine dioxide do not require rinsing.
Safety precautions to keep in mind before and after cleaning up the blood
- Restrict access to the contaminated area. Make sure that no one who is not wearing protective gear has access to the affected area.
- Use latex or nitrile gloves to protect your hands. Avoid ripping your gloves on sensitive equipment or objects. Gloves that are torn must be replaced promptly.
- Use additional personal protection equipment as needed (e.g., leak-proof aprons and eye protection) (e.g., leak-proof aprons and eye protection).
- Use disposable towels or mats to absorb most of the blood.
- After cleaning, remember to disinfect the mops and other cleaning equipment that have been used immediately. If not, you may propagate the viruses to different locations or dispose of them completely.
- Place all contaminated towels and garbage in a red bag or other appropriate leak-proof, sealed, and labeled (Biohazard symbol or label) container.
10 step procedure to properly clean up blood
Blood and body fluid/substance spills should be cleaned immediately in clinical locations. In operating rooms and other areas where medical operations are occurring, spills should be cleaned up as soon as it is safe. Care should be taken to properly clean and dry any surface that could come into contact with bare skin (for example, on an examination couch). The use of personal protective equipment (PPE) is required for all cleaning activities. After use, PPE should be discarded or submitted for cleaning. After cleaning, hands should be cleansed and patted dry.
- Be equipped with the essentials.
Equip yourself with safety materials: gloves are a must, and you may want to consider a gown and protective eyewear in the event of splashing. Ensure that the protective gear fits properly and has no holes or other vulnerabilities.
- Remove any other hazards present.
Use the brush, dustpan, or tongs/forceps to collect broken glass and other sharp debris that could penetrate protective gear. Place each piece in a sharps container that prevents leakage. Under no circumstances can these things be removed by hand.
- Clean the affected area once.
Use sturdy fabric towels to absorb as much blood as possible from the spill. If blood is still present on the surface, the registered disinfectant with the broad-spectrum kill claim will not effectively disinfect. Place used towels in a biohazard bag for disposal.
- Clean the affected area once again.
Ensure enough ventilation if the spill is not in an open area. Soak the spill area for ten minutes in the majority of the registered disinfectant with a broad-spectrum kill claim. After this time has expired, you should scrub the site from the perimeter to the center with harsh cloth cloths. Towels should be placed in the biohazard bag.
- Clean the affected area for the final time.
Dampen additional cotton towels and treat the blood spill location again. Also, place these towels in a biohazard bag for disposal. Permit the area to dry out.
- Dispose of anything you deem to be contaminated.
Place your gloves, robe, and glasses in the plastic bag before discarding them properly. This is a wise precautionary measure. Ensure that this process does not contaminate other surfaces. The bag should be sealed and placed within a second bag, which should also be sealed and labeled as hazardous. Contact the local health department for disposal instructions.
- Disinfect everything.
Use the certified disinfectant with a broad spectrum kill claim to sanitize reusable equipment such as dustpans, brooms, buckets, tongs, etc. After leaving the equipment to soak for 10 minutes in a registered disinfectant with a broad spectrum kill claim, you should scrape and rinse it with clean water.
- Do a double take on the affected area.
Perform a final inspection of your body for contaminants. Whether blood splashed over your shirt or the back of your elbow, it is crucial to determine if you have been exposed. It is strongly suggested that a coworker or supervisor assist you with this procedure step.
- Rinse and disinfect your hands.
Wash your hands and arms thoroughly with warm water and antiseptic soap. You may wish to consider using disinfectant wipes as a secondary precaution after rigorous washing.
- Please report it to the proper authorities.
Your employer or landlord may require you to complete an incident report. Make sure to perform this quickly after any cleanup.
What if blood spills on the carpet?
Due to the porous nature of carpets, blood stains on these surfaces are among the most difficult to clean. Since the majority of buildings contain at least some carpeting, it is crucial to know how to respond to spills in these places. There are a few unique considerations while cleaning up blood on the carpet, but most of the methods will be the same as for any other surface. In addition, there is no way to clean the carpet properly, therefore the best course of action is to sanitize it as thoroughly as possible.
- Time is of the essence.
On carpeting, blood or other human fluids can quickly solidify or set, making cleaning considerably more difficult. Respond immediately, but adhere to all safety steps, such as wearing appropriate PPE, securing the area, and assuring the injured person’s safety.
- Utilize all the appropriate cleaning products.
The carpet might be damaged or destroyed by bleach and other decontamination solutions. Using manufacturer-approved carpet shampoos and cleaners is the most effective method for cleaning these regions. Select a product with anti-microbial qualities to ensure the area is as thoroughly sanitized as feasible. As a result of the porous quality of the carpet, it is also suggested that the process be repeated once or twice more once the area has been cleaned and dried.
- We recommend utilizing steam cleaning.
Depending on the type and extent of the spill, it may be necessary to steam clean the carpet. Steam cleaners clean, remove dirt and disinfect carpets more thoroughly than traditional washing. Despite the higher expense, steam cleaning is the most effective protection against bloodborne diseases.
- Make sure to replace the carpet tiles.
Removable carpet tiles are an excellent method for preventing exposure to bloodborne diseases. Carpet tiles are typically less expensive than ordinary carpets, and they can be quickly removed and replaced if they become significantly stained with blood. If your business has carpet tiles, dispose of them properly if they become soaked with blood or other potentially infectious bodily fluids.
By implementing and disseminating this ten-step protocol for cleaning up blood spills, you may contribute to the safety of your coworkers. Knowing what to do when this situation happens will be very helpful in preventing any unwanted infections, diseases or biohazards. Being informed and aware of how to clean a blood spill properly will not only make sure your house or office will be clean, but it will be safe. When an accident occurs in the home, it is natural to begin cleaning immediately, but there are occasions when it may be safer to leave the job to the experts.
If you are looking for a trustworthy blood cleanup specialist, then Aftercare is the team you need to get in contact with as soon as possible! With over 22 years of experience, Aftercare offers considerate, prompt, and comprehensive cleanup and clean-out services to commercial and residential clients in all Eastern Virginia and Eastern North Carolina cities. Our technicians are experts in a variety of hazardous cleanup projects. Aftercare personnel are equipped with the most excellent personal protective equipment and have the expertise to arrive at your location swiftly and complete any cleanup from start to end.