UNIVERSAL PRECAUTIONSThe term “universal precautions” refers to a method of infection control in which ALL human blood and other potentially infectious materials (OPIM) are treated as if known to be infectious for HIV and HBV (hepatitis B).
“Universal Precautions” or “Universal Blood and Body Fluid Precautions” refer to the handling of body fluids from ALL individuals, not just precautions recommended for those known to be infected with a bloodborne pathogen.
The precautions focus on the prevention of transmission of bloodborne pathogens, primarily hepatitis B (HBV) and human immunodeficiency (HIV) viruses.
Exposure is defined as contact with blood or other potentially infectious materials through percutaneous inoculation (such as needlesticks with contaminated needles) or contact with an open wound, nonintact skin or mucous membrane.
Universal precautions require the use of protective barriers. Gloves are a protective barrier and reduce the incidence of contamination to the hands.
Universal precautions are intended to supplement rather than replace recommendations for routine infection control, such as handwashing.
ASSUME ALL BLOOD AND BODY FLUIDS ARE CONTAMINATED AND POTENTIALLY HARMFUL TO YOUR HEALTH.