Bloodborne pathogens cannot survive for extended periods outside of the body, but they can survive in bodily fluids for days or weeks. Although infection is not imminent, bloodborne pathogens can enter the body from any mucous membrane, including minor scrapes or cuts. Therefore, protecting yourself is the first step toward preventing transmission.
Protecting yourself includes understanding bloodborne pathogens, where they may be, taking standard, universal precautions, following handwashing protocols, and thinking about your actions in advance.
ALWAYS THINK ABOUT YOUR ENVIRONMENT TOO
An environment can be unsafe. Other employees, family members, or other events must always be considered before you begin dealing with possible bloodborne pathogen exposure.
Imagine a car accident victim who has suffered severe wounds. Make sure the scene of the accident is safe before you proceed.