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All staff, patients, and visitors should use personal protective equipment (PPE) when there is a potential for contact with blood, bodily fluids, or respiratory secretions. When used properly, PPE acts as a barrier between infectious materials—such as viral and bacterial contaminants—and your skin, mouth, nose, or eyes (mucous membranes).
The Bloodborne Pathogen Action Committee at UnityPoint Health Des Moines, Iowa evaluated their body fluid splashes over a four-year period. They discovered between 2014 and 2018 a 188% increase in body fluid splashes. Due to the high occurrence of body fluid splashed, leaders at UnityPoint created a new policy and educational poster on eye and facial protection against bloodborne pathogen exposure.
The policy clarifies the required and recommended tasks during which staff members should wear eye and facial protection, including:
• Performing respiratory care (i.e., intubation, extubation, tracheotomy care, suctioning, assessing patients with active or productive coughs, collecting respiratory specimens)
• Performing bedside care (when performing tasks likely to generate body fluid splashes)
• Performing procedures that are likely to generate splashes
• Emptying or transporting open containers of fluids or specimens
• Participating in traumas or codes
• Caring for patients who spit
Click here to learn more about how UnityPoint Health implemented and trained to the new policy.
TIDI is committed to keeping caregivers safe. Check out our free continuing education course about the importance of PPE in healthcare. We also offer a variety of PPE products that can help protect your caregivers against body fluid splashes, including protective eyewear and face shields.
Sartori, Evaluating Personal Protective Equipment Compliance in the Midst of a Pandemic, 31 March 2021
UnityPoint Health, Eye and Facial Protection against Bloodborne Pathogen Exposure, 6 December 2020