What are Bloodborne Infections and Diseases?

When you think of blood infections, you likely think of sepsis (also referred to as blood poisoning), which can inhibit your body from fighting infection and lead to death if not promptly treated. However, sepsis is not the only disease that can affect your blood.

Bloodborne pathogens can cause infections and diseases including HIV, hepatitis, MRSA, and C. diff and can be transmitted through contact with an infected person's blood or body fluids. Because these infections and diseases are difficult to treat, it's important to learn what causes them and how to prevent them.

Sepsis and Other Blood Infections

blood infection disease aftermath blood injury cut on hand

The most common type of blood infection is known as sepsis, "a serious complication of septicemia. Sepsis is when inflammation throughout the body occurs. This inflammation can cause blood clots and block oxygen from reaching vital organs, resulting in organ failure. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) estimates that over 1 million Americans get severe sepsis each year. Between 28 and 50 percent of these patients may die from the condition. When the inflammation occurs with extremely low blood pressure, it’s called septic shock. Septic shock is fatal in many cases."

In addition, there are several other prevalent bloodborne infections and diseases include:

What Causes Bloodborne Infections and Diseases?

Bloodborne pathogens are infectious microorganisms that are carried in human blood, and they are responsible for bloodborne infections and diseases. These microorganisms have the potential to pass from one person to another by various routes, such as blood transfusions, sexual intercourse, open wounds, mucous membranes, and more. 

"Infections can begin anywhere bacteria or other infectious agents can enter the body. It can result from something as seemingly harmless as a scraped knee or nicked cuticle or from a more serious medical problem such as appendicitis, pneumonia, meningitis, or a urinary tract infection (UTI)...

Although anyone can get [a bloodborne infection], certain groups are at greater risk, including:

  • People with weakened immune systems
  • Young babies
  • Elderly
  • People who have had invasive medical procedures
  • People with diabetes"

Preventing Bloodborne Infections and Diseases

It is important to remember that anyone can be exposed to potential bloodborne infections and diseases. If you are in a position where you need to clean up another person’s blood or body fluids, doing so could possibly put you at risk.

Even if you think you have safely removed all of the blood or fluids from the area, some viruses can remain dormant and reactivate when exposed to water, putting you or your family at risk later.

To ensure you are protecting yourself and your loved ones, contact a professional remediation company to properly disinfect areas affected by bloodborne infections and diseases. Aftermath provides blood cleanup, biohazard remediation and removal, and communicable disease disinfection services.

Our team of professionals are trained in bloodborne pathogens, safety equipment, and hazardous communications protocols, enabling us to perform effective and safe bloodborne pathogen cleanup. Contact Aftermath anytime for assistance.

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Sources:

OSHA: https://www.osha.gov/SLTC/bloodbornepathogens/
Healthline: http://www.healthline.com/health/septicemia#Overview1
National Institutes of Health: http://www.nigms.nih.gov/Education/pages/factsheet_sepsis.aspx
WebMD: http://www.webmd.com/a-to-z-guides/sepsis-septicemia-blood-infection

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