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Blood Spills and Open Wounds Management

Policy

This policy guides schools around safe responses to students with open wounds and blood spills.

Summary

All school staff must be familiar with the procedures relating to blood spills and open wounds.

Details

All school staff must be familiar with the school’s first aid procedures related to blood spills and bleeding students.

Treating bleeding students

The following steps describe how schools should treat students who are bleeding:

  1. Avoid contact with the blood while comforting the student, moving them to safety if required.
  2. Put on single-use gloves.
  3. Flush or clean the wound using normal saline or clean water.
  4. Pat dry the wound and apply an airtight and waterproof dressing, ensuring the wound is covered completely. If the bleeding continues, apply additional pressure using either a hand or firm bandage.
  5. Remove any linen stained with blood or bodily fluids and substances. Place them in leak-proof plastic bags until they can be cleaned by a commercial laundry or linen cleaning service, or disposed of.
  6. Remove gloves and place them in a biohazard container.
  7. Wash hands with soap and water.

Managing blood spills

Blood spills should be treated as if the blood is potentially infectious.

The below steps describe how schools must manage blood spills.

Note: All cuts and abrasions should be covered with an airtight and waterproof dressing at all times.

  1. Put on single-use gloves and avoid direct contact with blood or other body fluids.
  2. Use paper towels to mop up the spill. Dispose of the paper towels in an appropriate biohazard container.
  3. Wash the area with warm water and detergent, then rinse and dry the area. Note: Take care not to splash.
  4. Remove gloves and place them in an appropriate biohazard container, which should be a part of the school first aid kit.
  5. Wash hands with soap and water.
  6. If re-usable items were used such as scissors or single-use tweezers, then an assessment must take place to consider how the item was used and determine the appropriate decontamination method. For example, if re-usable items are contaminated with blood or other body substances, they should be disposed of in a sharps or biohazard container. If they are not contaminated, they should be washed and dried. Single use items should be disposed of appropriately and replaced. For further advice contact the department’s OHS Advisory Service on 1300 074 715.

Relevant legislation

Department policy on treating bleeding students and managing blood spills

Reviewed 10 February 2021

Policy last updated

15 June 2020

Scope

  • Schools

Contact

Health Promotion, Prevention and Advice

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