Why is cleaning blood spills so difficult? One reason is because of its ability to seep into porous materials and bind to fabric, including carpet and furniture. Therefore, blood spills require more than a simple mop and bucket technique. These 5 tips can help.
5 Tips for Cleaning Blood Spills
Although healthcare workers are at a high risk of biohazard exposure, biohazards can affect any of us. Have you ever cleaned up the blood of someone else? Perhaps after an accident or nosebleed? You may not have realized it at the time, but you had contact with a potential biohazard. Next time you are faced with a blood spill, remember these 5 tips:
- Wear personal protective equipment. Never attempt to clean up blood or body fluids without wearing disposable gloves, eye protection, and facemasks.
- Block off the affected area. When cleaning up a blood spill, you want to be sure that you do not cross contaminate other areas. Communicate the blood spill to those around you and insist that they remove themselves from the affected area until cleaning is complete.
- Clean once, clean twice, clean thrice. First, cover the spill with durable cloth towels to soak up as much blood as possible. Once a significant amount of blood has been removed, dispose of the towels in a clearly marked biohazard bag. Next, cover the area with a registered disinfectant product with a broad spectrum kill claim and let it soak for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, work from the outside of the spill toward the center with fresh cloth towels, and add them to the biohazard bag when finished. Lastly, dampen more clean towels and cover the area with disinfectant once more, soak it up, and dispose of the towels in the biohazard bag. Allow the area to dry.
- Dispose of or sanitize equipment. Use the registered disinfectant product to sanitize any reusable equipment, such as buckets, dustpans, brooms, etc., and allow to soak for 10 minutes. Porous materials such as mops and sponges should be disposed of in a biohazard bag. Biohazard bags cannot be thrown in a regular dumpster; as they must be transported and disposed of by a licensed hauler.
- Reach out for help. If a blood spill is larger than a dinner plate, it is recommended that you contact a bioremediation company for help. Blood can carry harmful diseases, such as hepatitis B and HIV, so it is always important to treat any blood as potentially infected blood.
Health Risks of Blood Spills
Blood and body fluids can carry harmful bloodborne pathogens such as human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), hepatitis B, and hepatitis C. This is why healthcare workers wash their hands often, wear disposable gloves and masks, and thoroughly disinfect surfaces after each patient. These universal precautions help protect themselves and other patients from bloodborne pathogen exposure and prevent the spread of disease.
Aftermath has been an industry leader in bioremediation for almost 20 years. We provide professional and compassionate services to families who are dealing with the death of friend or loved one due to suicide, homicide, or traumatic accident. Contact us anytime for more information on cleaning blood spills.