In the modern world being equipped with ample knowledge, skills, and abilities in first aid is essential, considering the numerous accidents and emergencies that could happen at any time. Many people opt to obtain CPR certification in order to be ready for these unforeseen circumstances, with Sudden Cardiac Arrest being a leading cause of death in the US.
Our classes at the American CPR Care Associations, however, are not limited to only first aid and CPR skills. When responding in a first aid capacity, it is critical to be aware of diseases and microbes that ultimately harm the overall health of an individual that you may come in contact with, bloodborne pathogens being one of the top concerns.
Bloodborne Pathogens, or most commonly known as BBPs, are infectious microorganisms and bacteria that are found in the human blood or any other body fluids. These can ultimately cause sickness to an individual, or worse, death. When talking about bloodborne pathogens, while there are many diseases that can be spread such as malaria, there are three diseases that you should be most concerned with.
Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV)
Though extremely rare, transfer of HIV from open wound to broken skin does happen, as does transfer from sharp implement punctures, and is a dire concern for healthcare workers and first responders. HIV weakens the immune system by attacking the T-cells, one of the important parts of our immune system, disease fighting cells that target infected host cells and activate other immune cells. Without a strong immune system, the body would have a hard time fighting diseases mainly because it is the body’s natural defense system. Having been infected by HIV, the formerly immune boosting and infected-cell destroying helper T-Cells are now the spreaders, and when the virus replicates enough copies inside the T-Cell themselves they burst forth destroying the cell and reducing the ability of the immune system to fight off future infection. Over time, as your immune system sustains more and more damage one can possibly lead to Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS).
Symptoms of HIV include fever, sore throat, rash, poor appetite, rapid weight loss, and swollen glands. Symptoms of acute HIV infection may be so mild you do not notice them or write them off, but at this stage in the disease the ability to spread the disease is highest. As of today, there has been no cure or vaccine for both HIV and AIDS, though antiretroviral medications and pre-exposure prophylaxis have improved outcomes for HIV/AIDS patients around the world. Because of the devastating effects and lack of cure or vaccine, extreme precautions must be taken to prevent the spread of HIV to health care workers and first responders in an emergency situation.
Hepatitis B Virus (HBV) and Hepatitis C Virus (HCV)
The risk of transferring hepatitis from an open wound to broken skin or accidental puncture wound, with the CDC reporting up to a 30% transmission rate of Hepatitis B Virus, while Hepatitis C Virus is almost exclusively spread from blood to blood contact. These viruses are contagious, cancer causing liver diseases, there is a vaccine available for Hepatitis B Virus but it remains incurable, and while Hepatitis C is curable, there is no vaccine and Hepatitis C remains the most deadly infectious disease in America, claiming more lives than 60 deadly infectious diseases combined.
The blood pathogens mentioned above are the main ones to protect ourselves from when administering first aid and CPR. Aside from the fact that they are contagious, they could also result in deteriorating your overall health, cancer, secondary infections, and death.
With these things to consider, the need for training to prevent the spread of bloodborne pathogens become obvious. This is why you should be responsible in protecting yourself by arming yourself with ample knowledge about these kinds of diseases and how to prevent their spread in a workplace, home or field emergency.
The American Health Care Academy offers a course specifically designed around preventing the spread of Bloodborne Pathogens. The course is designed to provide you all the information that you need when it comes to protecting yourself and the others from the bloodborne pathogens.
To learn more about the course and the diseases covered, as well as other first aid and CPR skills, sign up today!