What is an exposure control plan?

This is a written plan designed to minimise employee exposure to blood or potentially infectious materials whilst performing their daily duties.

Those working in the operating rooms and sterilization departments are continuously exposed to blood and potentially infectious materials, thus it would seem logical to have an exposure control plan in place.

We can be exposed to harmful materials via the skin, the eyes, mucous membranes, though a sharps injury or a splash in the face or mouth.

Applicable departments should have a plan that:

  • identifies who is at risk (what category of staff)
  • that covers managements of sharps
  • incorporates health waste management
  • includes the hospital SOP on the management of needle stick injuries

The goal of such a document is to prevent or minimise potential exposure to blood and other potentially infectious materials, such as vaginal secretions, semen, pleural fluid, saliva, cerebrospinal fluid and amniotic fluid i.e. human body fluids

Aspects to consider when minimising risks include:

  • wearing PPE
  • safe transport of infectious materials
  • safe management of needles and blades
  • investigating/recoding analysing needle stick injury incidents

To learn how to safely attach or remove a Swann Morton Surgical Blade, simply follow these simple instructions:

Never drop a blade from the protective packaging into a metal bowl as this can reduce the keenness of the cutting edge. Remember to handle sharps carefully.

How to attach a Surgical Blade

  1. Grip blade with forceps, or similar, avoiding contact with cutting edge.
  2. Hold handle in left hand with bayonet fitting uppermost.
  3. Place blade partway over handle fitting and engage slots.
  4. Slide blade until it clicks into position.
  5. To improve assembly, flex blade slightly upwards when sliding onto the handle.

How to remove a Surgical Blade:

  1. Grip blade with forceps, or similar.
  2. Lift heel of blade at point ‘A’ with tip of finger, avoiding contact with cutting edge and carefully slide the blade away from the handle.

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