Universal Precautions | Western Cape Education Department
HIV/AIDS Universal Precautions

Universal Precautions are called so because they must be taken by every person and pertain to all body fluids, as it is not possible to know who has HIV or any other diseases carried in body fluids, especially in blood.

Universal Precautions are the procedures for safely managing accidents and injuries at schools and at any other educational institution.

  1. Every school must have:
    1. Two First Aid kits containing
      1. four pairs of latex gloves (two medium, two large)
      2. four pairs of household gloves (two medium, two large)
      3. materials to cover wounds, cuts or grazes (e.g. lint or gauze), waterproof plasters, disinfectant (e.g. household bleach), scissors, cotton wool, tape for securing dressing, tissues
      4. a mouthpiece for mouth-to-mouth resuscitation
    2. A bottle of household bleach
    3. A stock of plastic shopping bags checked for holes
    4. A container for pouring water
    5. If there is no running water at your school, a 25 litre drum of clean water should be kept for emergencies at all times.
  2. No one should have direct contact with another person's blood or body fluids - use gloves, plastic shopping bags.
  3. Stop the bleeding as quickly as possible. Apply pressure directly over the area with the nearest available cloth or towel.
  4. Clean wounds. Use antiseptic and keep all wounds, sores, grazes or any broken skin covered at all times.
  5. Manage accidental exposure to another person's blood, or exposure during injury by cleaning skin with running or clean water and then cleaning it with antiseptic or diluted household bleach.
  6. Clean contaminated surfaces and materials: Surfaces, floors, etc. must be cleaned with diluted bleach; bloody bandages and cloths should be sealed in a plastic bag and burnt; instruments and equipment washed, soaked in bleach and dried.
  7. Disposal of sanitary towels and tampons: All female staff and learners must be informed about proper arrangements for disposal of these items, so that no other person has contact with them.
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