Blood-Borne Pathogens: The Dangers of Blood and Bodily Fluids

Recently, an official from a Ronald McDonald House called us about an accident that occurred at the house and which involved copious amounts of blood. Prior to the call, volunteers at the house had cleaned up the accident scene, despite the major risk of blood-borne pathogens (BPP). After the fact, officials were concerned about the welfare of their volunteers and of the public whom they serve, and they wanted our advice about the safest and most effective way to handle future accidents like this.

Every year, hundreds of thousands of people from all over the world stay at the 307 Ronald McDonald Houses in the United States to be near their critically ill children and their children’s medical team. Many houses serve more than 2,000 families a year. With this much public traffic, accidents are bound to happen. We told the official who called us that laymen should NEVER attempt to clean an accident scene where blood and bodily fluids are present.

Bodily Fluids = Bio-Hazards

Federal regulations consider all bodily fluids to be bio-hazards, due to the likelihood of them carrying blood-borne pathogens. BBP’s are spread through contact with someone else’s blood or bodily fluids. A “pathogen” is anything that causes a disease, and it can be bacterial or viral. Pathogens can thrive in all bodily fluids whether the fluids are still wet or have dried.

Blood-borne pathogens get into the body via:

  • blood
  • amniotic fluid
  • semen
  • vaginal fluids

BBP’s enter the body when the one person’s bodily fluids:

  • directly splash on mucous membranes such as the eyes, nose and mouth.
  • directly touch open abrasions.
  • indirectly transfer from contaminated needles or sharp objects puncturing the skin.

Exposure to BBP’s is most common when untrained people try to clean up an accident scene and:

  • fail to wear adequate, professional-grade protective clothing.
  • use an inappropriate disposal container for a contaminated item.
  • get nicked by a sharp object or stuck by a needle contaminated with blood or other bodily fluid.

Contact with bodily fluids commonly causes Hepatitis B and C and also HIV, three very serious, life-threatening diseases. There are no cures or vaccines for any of these diseases.

Hepatitis B & C: Two Deadly Blood-borne Pathogens

Hepatitis is a highly infectious that causes inflammation of the liver. It and its related liver diseases kill over 15,000 people a year. Hepatitis is the main cause of cirrhosis and liver cancer and the most common reason for liver transplants. To prevent contracting this disease, the Hepatitis B Foundation recommends having no direct contact with blood and bodily fluids. The World Health Organization recommends safe handling and disposal of needles, other sharp objects, and other contaminated waste. Proper infectious disease cleanup methods should be used in the event of these viruses being present.

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Hepatitis B Foundation, and Viral Hepatitis Action Coalition

HIV: The Immune System Destroyer

HIV, which kills about 15,000 people a year, is another virus that is spread through contact with bodily fluids. The virus eventually destroys the immune system cells, leaving the body unable to fight disease and infection. Without a working immune system, the body is left wide open to deadly and unusual diseases and cancers that a healthy body can destroy.

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Why Trust Advanced Bio Treatment To Eliminate Risk?
  • We Work Fast

The longer you are in contact with contaminated objects, the greater the probability those contaminants will permeate personal protective clothing. We can work faster than you can because we are experienced, and we have the right chemicals and machines to get the job done quickly.

  • We Wear Professional-Grade Protective Clothing

To make sure we thoroughly decontaminate the accident scene, we wear professional-grade PPE (personal protective equipment) clothes, like head-to-toe Tyvek suits and layers of sealed rubber gloves, which meet or exceed all OSHA guidelines, to minimize our exposure to blood-borne pathogens and the chemicals we use to clean them up.

  • We Are Highly Trained

Our technicians are thoroughly trained in state and federal guidelines for handling bio-hazard waste. They are also trained in cleaning methods, chemical applications, hidden bio-hazards, and containment of the affected area to eliminate the possibility of spreading contamination to other parts of the environment.

  • We Use Hospital-Grade Cleaning Materials

Advanced Bio Treatment professionals use hospital-grade chemicals to thoroughly clean and decontaminate the environment. We know which chemicals work on which surfaces, how long a particular disinfectant must stay on a surface to decontaminate it, and what diseases are killed by which disinfectants. We are trained to avoid cross-contamination and re-contamination as we work, a critical concern especially in places frequented by the public.

  • We Safely Remove Bio-Hazard Waste

Some waste contaminated with blood cannot be cleaned. Our trained professionals recognize what can and cannot be salvaged. We are licensed to safely remove and transport bio-hazard waste, and we follow all EPA, OSHA, and state guidelines for handling, packaging, and removing bio-hazard waste.

We repeatedly caution you not to attempt to clean up an accident scene by yourself because of the presence of deadly blood-borne pathogens. This is especially true if the accident happens in a place frequented by the public, like the Ronald McDonald House whose officials called us for advice. Chances are, you do not have the right protective clothing, the right waste containers, the right disinfectants, or sufficient knowledge and training to protect yourself or future occupants coming into the area.

For the safety of everyone, we urge you to call the professionals at Advanced Bio Treatment– if you’re a Ronald McDonald House in our working area, we proudly provide all our professional services free of charge. We are here to help you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. We take emergency calls and in most situations, can be on the scene within one hour of your call. For more assistance in blood and bodily-fluid cleanup, contact us at 800-295-1684.

Elevator Malfunction Trauma Cleanup in Biloxi, Mississippi

Elevated Trauma Cleanup

Derrek was terribly shaken when he made the call to Advanced Bio Treatment for emergency trauma cleanup services.  Managing a mid-sized hotel in Biloxi, Mississippi had its ups and downs, but this was his first encounter with an accident of this magnitude.

It was such a relief to talk to someone who just took over and asked all the questions.  When I called Advanced Bio Treatment, the operator helped to diffuse the chaos in my mind and assured me that their team of technicians were prepared to clean the entire elevator shaft and the gruesome mess left on the lobby floor.

This wasn’t Advanced Bio Treatment’s first experience with an elevator accident, but it is rare to encounter these types of malfunctions.  Usually, elevator accidents involve some component of user error or horseplay. This time was different, however, because the trauma was caused by a technician bypassing a safety measure to call an elevator to the lobby without first ensuring that the elevator car was vacant.  It wasn’t vacant, and this egregious error is what lead to the massive trauma cleaning that Advanced Bio Treatment conducted.

Two of our guests entered the elevator on the 5th floor and the elevator car began moving as they stepped on and the doors remained open.  As the elderly woman lost her balance, her right arm became trapped and was drug along the elevator shaft wall the entire five floors down.  The gentleman with her fell and suffered a deep cut to his forehead.  It was really a grisly site when the elevator landed in the lobby.

Our technicians at Advanced Bio Treatment arrived promptly and immediately roped off the affected area.  The majority of the visible blood cleanup was completed almost immediately, but the elevator shaft cleaning was more intensive and required a great deal of safety measures and care in order to prevent another terrible accident.  Since there was still question regarding how the accident occurred, the elevator had to be secured above the workers not only using the safety switches but also with physical measures similar to scaffolding used in construction.  The walls of the elevator shaft required scrubbing and an application of disinfectant to eliminate the possibility of the spread of infectious disease from bloodborne pathogens.  A Halo Fogger, which emits a hydrogen peroxide fog to disinfect all surfaces including hidden crevices, was used in the elevator shaft, elevator car, and hotel lobby.

A Sigh of Relief

You never think you’ll need to call for trauma cleaning assistance; it’s just not something that crosses your mind until you’re standing there surrounded by chaos and a bloody mess.  Advanced Bio Treatment was not only amazingly reliable in their quick response, but they were incredibly discrete and professional.  They were able to conduct the entire cleanup with minimal distraction to the hotel guests.  In a nightmare situation, Advanced Bio Treatment really came through and saved us.

Advanced Bio Treatment is honored to serve the communities of Mississippi and around the U.S.  Our operators are standing by 24-hours a day, 365 days a year to assist you when tragedy strikes.  Simply call 1-800-295-1684.

 

Raw Sewage for Breakfast in Springfield, Massachusetts

The Down and Dirty on Raw Sewage

Anyone who’s had raw sewage back up into their home knows what a nightmare the repercussions are.  The sheer expense alone is enough to make someone sick, not to mention the bacterial, viral, and parasitic concerns.  According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), over seven million people a year become ill due to exposure to raw sewage.  And seven percent of those people suffer from severe, sometimes fatal illnesses.

Bacterial infections are certainly a concern with the risk of exposure to Escherichia coli (E. coli), Campylobacter, Salmonella, Leptospira, and Shigella to name a few.  All of which are rampant in raw sewage.  Viruses are also commonly contracted from contact with sewage backups.  Rotavirus, adenovirus, Norwalk virus, Hepatitis A, and the frightening Poliomylitis Virus are likely present as well.  If somehow you’ve avoided becoming contaminated with one of these viruses or bacteria, there’s always a chance to get a parasite.  How does Cryptosporidium sound?  How about Giardia?  How will you know if you’ve become infected?  You’ll likely think you’ve got the stomach flu, but some of these nasty parasites, viruses, and bacterial infections can also cause bloody stool and even paralysis.  Needless to say, it’s best to avoid any contact with raw sewage if you have a backup in your home or business.  Professional biohazard cleanup is without question the only approach.

Raw Sewage NOT on the Menu

Unfortunately, zero contact wasn’t an option for all the traveling guest at one particular bed and breakfast in Springfield, Massachusetts.  When raw sewage backed up throughout the home one morning, there was literally human waste spewing out of the sink drains, including the kitchen, and the toilets were overflowing into the seven bedrooms.

My husband and I were on our 20th anniversary trip.  We just strolled down the hall to breakfast and there was suddenly this very offensive odor, like something died.  And the worse part was that it seemed to be coming from the kitchen.  We skipped the highly acclaimed breakfast.  Believe me, we’d read all the reviews, and people all over the country raved about those breakfasts.  Having lived in Mobile, Alabama my whole life, I was just devastated to have to eat fast food for my first New England breakfast, but it was certainly a blessing in disguise considering what we missed!

Darla and her husband missed quite a scene, too.  There were two guests who charged into the breakfast dining area with feces covering their shoes up to their ankles, screaming that their room was flooded with raw sewage.  The owner came out of the kitchen dry heaving, with sewage splattered on his apron.  It was grotesque to say the least and simply devastating for the business owners.  Two plumbers later, the owner of the B&B called on Advanced Bio Treatment for their expertise and professional cleanup services.

Holding all the required certifications surrounding the handling and disposal of biohazard waste, and with years of experience under their belts, Advanced Bio Treatment was the obvious choice according the B&B owner.

Advanced Bio Treatment was not only amazingly courteous and professional, but they were fast.  I had some basic remodeling to do once the cleanup was complete, but because of Advanced Bio Treatment’s quick response, I didn’t lose nearly as much as I could have.  After the cleanup was complete, they used a Halo hydrogen peroxide fogger to kill any bacteria, viruses, and parasites that might have remained unseen.  They were also able to completely remove the offensive odor.

Advanced Bio Treatment is honored to serve businesses and home owners in Massachusetts as well as throughout our nation.  We are proud to offer our team of highly trained professionals to address and attack your worst cleanup needs.  Whether it be a raw sewage backup, an accident scene, or another biohazard disaster, we are here for you 24-hours a day, 365 days a year.

Our professional operators are standing by now at 1-800-295-1684 to answer your questions, offer you a quote, help with insurance claims, and send our technicians to you immediately.