Infection Control

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Infection Control Plan

Communicable Disease, Universal Precautions and Exclusion criteria

 Communicable Diseases

There has been a resurgence of infectious diseases in the school population.  These diseases result from drug resistant strains and the emergence of new organisms for which there are no vaccines and no cure.  These diseases may be spread by one or more of the following ways:

  • Inhalation of aerosolized particles;
  • Contact with bloodborne organisms;
  • Sexual contact;
  • Fecal-oral contact;
  • Vertical transmission from mother to unborn child.

See https://www.dshs.texas.gov/DCU/health/schools_childcare/SchoolHealth/ for more information regarding specific diseases.

 

Universal Precautions

Our school operates under the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Final Bloodborne Pathogens Standard.  The following guidelines are designed to protect persons who may be exposed to blood or body fluids of students or employees in school.

Anticipating Potential Contact
Use universal precautions and infection control techniques in all situations that may present the hazard of infection.  Diligent and proper hand washing, use of barriers (gloves), appropriate disposal of waste products and needles, and proper care of spills are essential techniques of infection control.  All blood and body fluids should be treated as though they contain bloodborne pathogens (i.e. HIV, Hepatitis B, etc.) 

Handwashing
Diligent and proper handwashing is an essential component of infection control.  Hands should be washed:

  • Immediately before and after physical contact with a student (i.e. diaper changes, assistance with toileting, or feeding.)
  • Immediately after contact with blood or body fluids or objects soiled with blood or body fluids;
  • After contact removing protective equipment, such as gloves or clothing.
  • If possible wash hands with soap and water; if soap/water is unavailable gel hand sanitizer may be used.

Ways to Avoid Contact with Body Fluids

Gloves:  When possible, avoid direct skin contact with body fluids.  Disposable single-use latex free gloves are available in school clinics.  The use of gloves is intended to reduce the risk of contact with blood and body fluids for the caregiver as well as to control the spread of infectious agent from student to employee, employee to student, or employee to employee.

Gloves should be worn when direct care may involve contact with any type of body fluids such as:  caring for nose bleeds, changing a bandage, cleaning up spills or clothes soiled with body fluids, disposing of supplies soiled with blood.  Gloves should be worn with changing a diaper, catheterizing a student, or providing mouth, nose or tracheal care.

Do Not Reuse Gloves:  After each use, gloves should be removed without touching the outside of the glove and disposed of in a lined waste container.  After removing gloves, the hands should be washed according to proper procedure.

Disposal of Infectious Waste

Contaminated Supplies
All used contaminated supplies (gloves, and other barriers, sanitary napkins, Band-Aids, etc) except needles, syringes and other sharp implements, should be placed into a plastic bag and sealed.  This bag can be thrown into the garbage out of reach of children or animals.  

Used Needles, Syringes, and Other Sharp Objects
Needles, syringes and other sharp objects should be placed IMMEDIATELY after use in a puncture/leak proof container.  Each campus is equipped with a sharps container in the clinic.  To reduce the risk of a cut or accidental needle puncture, NEEDLES SHOULD NEVER BE RECAPPED, BENT, OR REMOVED FROM SYRINGE BEFORE DISPOSAL.  Once the container is full, it should be sealed, bagged, kept out of reach of students until it can be disposed of. 

Body WasteBody waste (urine, vomitus, and feces) should be disposed of in the toilet.  If such body fluids as urine and vomitus are spilled, the body fluids should be covered with an absorbent sanitary material, gently swept up and discarded in plastic bags. 

Clean – Up

Spills of blood and body fluids should be cleaned up immediately with an approved disinfectant cleaner.

Procedure:

  1. Wear gloves.
  2. Mop up spill with absorbent material.
  3. Wash the area well, using disinfectant cleaner supplied by custodian.
  4. Dispose of gloves, soiled towels, and other waste in sealed plastic bags and place in garbage.
  5. Wash hands.


Reportable Conditions
Prompt and accurate reporting of suspected communicable disease conditions is of utmost importance.   The following table, available at the Texas Department of Health http://www.dshs.texas.gov/idcu/investigation/conditions/ lists notifiable conditions as listed in 25 Texas Administrative Code 97.3. 

Who Should Report
Under 25 Texas Administrative Code 97.2, school authorities, including a superintendent, principal, teacher, school nurse, or counselor of a public or private school should report those students attending school who are suspected of having a notifiable condition. 

 

Resources

Texas Department of Health Guide to School Health http://www.dshs.texas.gov/Schoolhealth/TGSHS/

Texas Department of Health – Infectious Disease Control Unit http://www.dshs.texas.gov/idcu/default.shtm