Blood – Borne Viruses including Bodily Fluids

Blood-Borne Viruses (BBV’s)

BBV’s are viruses that some people carry in their blood and which may cause severe disease in certain people and few or no symptoms in others. The virus can spread to another person, whether the carrier of the virus is ill or not.

These viruses can also be found in body fluids other than blood, for example, semen, vaginal secretions and breast milk. Other body fluids or materials such as urine, faeces, saliva, sputum, sweat, tears and vomit carry a minimum risk of BBV infection, unless they are contaminated with blood. Care should still be taken as the presence of blood is not always obvious.

Disinfection of areas where blood or other bodily fluids have been spilled

Body fluids include blood, semen, faeces, urine, vomit, respiratory secretions e.g. nasal discharge, saliva and phlegm. The following Infection Control Precautions should be taken:

  • Deal with spillages as soon as possible
  • When possible, direct skin contact with body fluids and substances should be avoided
  • Wear protective gloves and a disposable apron
  • Use disposable towels to absorb large amounts of fluid
  • Wash the affected area with detergent and water, and dry thoroughly
  • Leave floors to dry (and informing Client of any hazard)
  • Dispose of all waste into yellow clinical waste bags (or double-bagged into household waste if none available)
  • Wash equipment used to clean the spillage and store dry
  • Wash hands thoroughly after any contact with body fluids and substances

Coughs and sneezes

When someone coughs or sneezes, tiny droplets are expelled into the air, and these can cause infection in someone else if directly inhaled. Follow the following Infection Control Precautions:

  • Cough or sneeze into a paper tissue and throw away immediately
  • Wash your hands after coughing, sneezing or blowing your nose
  • Never pick your nose or wipe it on clothing or towels

Washing a Client

To reduce infection risks:

  • Wash face first, then down to arms, torso (front and back), both legs and finally the genital and bottom areas
  • Use fresh water for each area of the body

Sharps / Splash Injury

The most likely means of transmission of blood-borne diseases to a PA are by a sharps injury (needles, broken glass etc.) or by blood splashing onto broken skin. Infected blood may also spread through contamination of open wounds, skin abrasions, eczema, or splashed to eyes, nose or mouth. If you sustain a sharps or splash injury, you must immediately:

  • Wash splashes off your skin with antiseptic soap and running water
  • Encourage the wound to bleed, if your skin is broken – do not suck the wound
  • Wash out splashes to your eyes using tap water or an eye-wash bottle, and your nose or mouth with plenty of tap water – do not swallow the water
  • Record the source of contamination on the Record of Visit form
  • Report the incident to the Supervisor and complete an Accident Report form
  • Prompt medical advice is important. If treatment is necessary it will be more effective if started quickly.


All information will be handled in line with the Company’s Confidentiality & Data Protection Policy. Please note the following points:

  • PA’s will not be made aware by the office of Clients who have a blood-borne disease such as HIV/ AIDS, as following the safe practices detailed in this document makes this information unnecessary
  • Information will be stored in line with the Data Protection Act
  • Clients may not want to share information about their health with other members of their household

If in doubt about any of these matters contact the office for advice

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