There is a risk of cross-infection as diseases can pass between the casualty and first aider and between casualties.
It is therefore a requirement of the first aider to take reasonable precautions to prevent cross-infection.
It is essential that as a first aider, you approach all situations involving body fluids: saliva, vomit, blood, urine, and faeces, etc. as potentially infectious, by adopting appropriate precautions to protect yourself.
Precautions to be taken:
To protect yourself:
To protect others:
Minor dressings such as adhesive strips should be disposed of by placing them in a plastic bag and disposing of them in your normal household waste collection bin.
Major spills however should be dealt with by placing all disposable contaminated items into a leak proof container, such as a large heavy-duty plastic bag clearly labelled ‘Infectious Waste’. These should then be disposed of through an approved infectious waste disposal system.
Needles and sharps should be disposed of safely in accordance with local, state, territory, and commonwealth authorities.
Soiled clothes that have not been ruined should first be rinsed in cold water then washed or cleaned as normal. Commercial laundries should have their own policies and procedures in place for their staff to follow for managing blood-stained items.
After a first aid incident a first aider should ensure that all contaminated items are gathered and disposed of correctly, ensure that the area is cleaned and sanitised then wash their hands thoroughly or use hand sanitiser.