First Aid Training Can Save Lives | Have You Been Properly Trained?
A lot of times, an employee will get into trouble while working on the job site and, naturally, fellow coworkers will want to help them or save them. Sometimes, however, the person in question can be seriously injured or bleeding, so there is the risk of them spreading disease to the person who is helping, especially if the helping person is not properly trained in correct first aid procedures. It is normal to be more concerned about the already injured individual, but workers must also be aware of the fact that they will only be putting themselves in harm’s way if they have not been properly trained in these specific situations. Diseases such as AIDS and Hepatitis can spread through saliva to blood contact or through blood to blood contact, so injured, bleeding coworkers can easily transfer these diseases while being helped or when CPR is being performed. It’s also important to remember that a lot of workers who have these diseases are not yet aware of the fact that they do. Diseases that spread through the blood and saliva usually have a long incubation period before symptoms begin showing, so employees should treat every individual as if they are infected. Don’t compound the issue by helping someone else out unless you have taken first aid training and have experience and knowledge in the matter.
If someone becomes hurt, injured, or starts bleeding on the job, you will want to follow the “universal precautions” when there is a possibility of coming in contact with another’s body fluids. Restating what we said earlier, “All injured persons should be considered as if they are infected with a bloodborne pathogen when administering first aid or medial attention.”
- One of the most effective ways to protect yourself when you are administering first aid is by wearing protective rubber or latex gloves. This will protect both the person administering the first aid as well as the affected individual. Remember that even small cuts and abrasions on hands can open up channels for viruses or bacteria to enter the bloodstream.
- Every single first aid kit on the property should be fully stocked with the necessary amount of rubber gloves. These gloves should be packaged individually to maintain sanitation. NEVER, at any time, reuse gloves.
- First aid kits should also be fully stocked with glasses and face masks. If you are in a tight situation, you can use a dust mask or respirator, but when there is the potential of blood spattering, you will want to cover your mouth, nose, and eyes with goggles and a mask. Consider ANY hole or opening on your body a possible point of entry for any viruses or diseases that may be present.
- If CPR is being performed, then there is the risk of disease spreading through saliva. First aid kits should provide disposable microshields, or S-tubes that you can use to protect yourself. Microshields prevent the transfer of saliva and put limits on the possibility of infection.
- ANY and ALL gloves, clothing, bandages, or other absorbent materials that have blood on them should be IMMEDIATELY disposed of in leakproof containers. These containers need to be marked clearly with the red biohazard symbol.
- Once the whole incident is over, be sure to THOROUGHLY wash your hands and all other exposed skin with soap and warm water. If possible, we strongly recommend taking a full shower afterwards. You will also want to get yourself tested for pathogens.
- ANY and ALL blood spills need to be THOROUGHLY cleaned up. This means putting together a mild solution of water and household chlorine bleach at a 10-1 ratio. Use this solution to scrub and disinfect the affected area. Note that workers who come in touch with the spilled blood, even hours later, can possibly become infected.
Job sites and workplaces usually have someone who is designated to respond in these situations, but if that person isn’t present for some reason, having the correct first aid training under your belt could possibly allow you to save a life! Don’t underestimate first aid training even if you feel someone else will always be there in emergencies. Emergencies can pop up at any moment, regardless of who is present, so don’t take chances! Enroll yourself in a first aid training class today and give yourself, and your coworkers, a peace of mind.