71 million people globally have Hepatitis C. This number is shocking and causes concern for many.
Especially those that work in healthcare. It’s one of the bloodborne pathogens that you can have and get rid of with proper treatment.
Therefore you must understand how you can protect yourself from getting it with this useful bloodborne pathogen training.
Below we’re going to share with you how disease transmission works and ways that it’s not transmitted from person to person. Grab your face covering, and let’s get started.
What is Hepatitis C?
You might be asking yourself, ‘what is bloodborne pathogens training‘ or ‘what is bloodborne pathogens certification,’ and the answer to both is being educated about the different bloodborne pathogens out there.
As well as knowing how you as a medical worker can treat them and prevent them from spreading.
Hepatitis C is an infection within the body that leads to inflammation in the liver. Above, we mentioned that with the right combination of medication and treatment, Hepatitis C can be cured. Still, there are several ways that cases can be cured without a notable vaccine.
If you or someone you know has Hepatitis C, there are some symptoms that you’ll notice, making it obvious that you need to go in for testing. Some of these symptoms include:
- Experiencing jaundice
- Loss of appetite
- Pain in the abdominal region
These are just a few of the symptoms a person might experience, but they aren’t the only symptoms, and they can occur in combination with each other. To detect Hepatitis C, testing will need to be performed.
There are a variety of tests that can be used, from the MRE to ELISA.
Treatments for Hepatitis C
There are several forms of treatment that someone might undergo to manage their Hepatitis C. As mentioned, there is no vaccine out there to cure Hepatitis C.
Still, various medications are used to treat it. These medications include:
These are a few medications used to treat the virus, but that’s not the only form of treatment prescribed to those infected with Hepatitis C. If you have severe complications that come with having Hepatitis C, you might need a liver transplant.
During a liver transplant, a liver that can no longer be used because it has suffered irreparable damage will be replaced with a healthy liver. Keep in mind that you will need to go on a list of people waiting for their transplants if you need a liver transplant.
When one becomes available, your medical team will let you know and get you ready for the next steps in the process.
Ways It’s Not Transmitted
While there are several ways that Hepatitis C is transmitted, there are also several ways that it’s not. For starters, if you’re an expecting mother, you might worry that you’re going to transmit the virus to your child if you choose to nurse them.
If you plan to nurse, you need to take some precautions, but this doesn’t mean that you can’t nurse your child. Before nursing begins, ensure that your nipples aren’t bleeding or cracked before proceeding.
If they are, you will need to wait until your nipples heal before you can feed your child again. If you share your utensils used for eating with others, you’re not going to spread Hepatitis C to anyone.
This is with the assumption that no open and bleeding wound in your mouth would cause your utensils to be contaminated with blood.
If you sneeze on someone, this will not spread the virus, but you should always cover your mouth and nose when sneezing because no one wants to be sneezed on.
It’s good practice to sneeze into the crease of your elbow or into your shirt.
Now that you’ve got more information about the virus itself, it’s time to look deeper into ways to prevent it from spreading from person to person.
Be Selective When Getting Tattoos or Piercings
We understand that sometimes the first thing you think about when having a body modification performed is whether it’s cheaper in one parlor than the other. However, there is much more to think about before you whip out your cash and have your tattoo or piercing done.
The first way to prevent the spread of Hepatitis is by taking time to select a clean tattoo or piercing shop. It would be best if you always had someone that’s licensed professionally to perform the services you’re seeking.
Someone that is licensed will have a working knowledge of the proper sanitary practices that should be used. For each person who enters their shop, they should provide new needles and ink to be used.
If you’re unsure of the shop’s procedures, you should take some time to ask questions for clarity. It’s better to be safe than sorry.
Safe Sex or No Sex
There are times when you’re in the heat of the moment, and the last thing you think about is protecting yourself or your partner. However, keep in mind that momentary decisions can cause life-long consequences.
It’s for this reason you should always practice safe sex. While it’s not relatively common for Hepatitis C to be passed from one person to another during sexual activities, the risk of getting it can increase if someone has an STD( sexually transmitted disease) or HIV.
Some other factors that put people at risk are having multiple intimate partners and not practicing safe sex with each partner. It’s important that you take charge of your sexual health and always protect yourself.
Your Personal Items Aren’t For Sharing
When someone forgets something like a razor or hair clippers, the first thing you might think to do is offer them yours. Even though you’re being nice, you shouldn’t share your personal items with other people.
It would help if you didn’t do this because on occasion, there will be times when your personal items come in contact with small traces of your blood. For example, if you’re shaving and cut yourself, there are droplets of your blood that have contaminated the razor.
If you have Hepatitis C, sharing your personal items can cause it to spread to others.
Avoid Exposure to Blood
If you work in the healthcare field, it’s only natural that at some point, you will need to draw blood or be in a situation where blood is present.
Whenever you’re in these situations, take care to avoid direct exposure to the blood.
After you’ve used tools or completed a procedure in which blood is being drawn, or there’s a chance you could come in contact with it, there are several things you can do. The first thing is always to sterilize your tools immediately following the procedure.
Sterilization will eliminate all traces of the blood and prepare your tools to be used in the future. Another thing you need to do is ensure that the necessary products get disposed of in the right containers.
If you’ve used a needle to draw blood, ensure that you place the needle into the sharps box and close the box so there is no chance that someone else could be stuck with it.
Don’t Share Your Needles
For people that use drugs intravenously, the only thing on their mind is reaching their next high. While we can’t stop people from making their own choices, it’s highly recommended that no needles get shared between people.
If you’re using a dirty needle, your chances of contracting Hepatitis C are much higher than normal. Needles aren’t the only way to contract Hepatitis C if you’re actively in addiction.
Hepatitis C can get transmitted on the surfaces of other drug paraphernalia that get used. If you or someone else is struggling with addiction, there are resources out there to help you get your life back.
Hepatitis C: Controlling the Spread
With many things outside of your control, there are several things that you can control, like the spread of Hepatitis C. We’ve given you several tips on how to prevent it, like not sharing your personal items with others and taking the time to dispose of needles and other tools used to collect blood in healthcare settings.
Are you looking for a way to provide your team with the training they need to handle bloodborne pathogens? If so, contact Bloodborne Pathogens Training and find out how they can prepare you and your team for any virus that comes your way.