Bloodborne Pathogens

June 25, 2018 | Aging Services Risk, Quality, & Safety Guidance

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A healthcare organization's legal responsibilities with regard to bloodborne pathogens (BBPs), including HIV, hepatitis B virus (HBV), and hepatitis C virus (HCV), are an omnipresent risk management concern. All healthcare organizations, from acute care hospitals to behavioral and psychiatric facilities to skilled nursing facilities, must comply with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration's (OSHA) BBP standard. The BBP standard has long been the OSHA standard for which all categories of healthcare sector employers are most frequently cited for noncompliance.

Employees who become infected as a result of occupational exposure to blood or other potentially infectious materials (OPIM) are entitled to workers' compensation benefits in addition to costly postexposure evaluations, medical follow-up, and postexposure prophylaxis (PEP). OPIM includes any body fluid that is visibly contaminated with blood; all body fluids in situations in which it is difficult or impossible to differentiate between body fluids; cerebrospinal, synovial, pleural, pericardial, peritoneal, and amniotic fluids; semen and vaginal secretions; saliva in dental...

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