The ever-present threat of communicable disease transmission makes protection from blood-borne pathogens an important issue. While it is important to take the necessary precautions to prevent disease transmission in general, it is especially critical in a response to a medical emergency. Before any hazard is encountered, blood-borne pathogen training should be provided for all potentially exposed staff. This training is available on The Redwoods Institute. In a situation, the use of gloves and a rescue mask are the primary protective measures. These tools should be utilized during all training and practice drills to help ensure their utilization during a real emergency.
All biological spills (blood, fecal matter, vomit, or other body fluids) should be treated as biohazard and universal precautionary procedures should be followed:
No warnings for blood-borne diseases transmitted through water are issued by the CDC, but safeguards are still important. If any bodily fluid is evident during a water rescue take the following precautions:
While no immediate water treatment is necessary for minor cuts or spills in pools, it may be wise to clear the pool for serious traumas involving bleeding or for the psychological well being of members or staff. In either case, make sure that your pool chemicals are at the appropriate levels.
The threat of viral or bacterial spread from fecal matter and/or vomit contamination in the pool must be treated very carefully. Please refer to RMA: Aquatic Fecal Contamination Protocol for more information.