Safety precautions against infections in the laboratory

In this post we are going to list some basic safety precautions against infections in the laboratory.

All specimen arriving in the laboratory should be regarded as being potentially pathogenic. It is very wrong notion to think that only specimen meant for bacteriological investigations are infectious. A specimen of cerebrospinal fluid send for glucose estimation may be a part of the same specimen send for bacterial meningitis investigation.

The same is true of a specimen of blood cells for hemoglobin or packed cell volume measurement which may contain infectious microorganisms. The Laboratory worker must therefore observe some do’s and don’t in order to prevent laboratory acquired infections. Some of the rules for Laboratories workers are;

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1. He or she should wear protective clothing (laboratory coat/gown) over normal clothing preferably wear closed shoes.

2. All specimens are infected materials should be handled with care.

3. He or she should avoid eating, drinking or chewing gum in the laboratory.

4. He or she should refrain from smoking in the working zone of The Laboratory and also refrain from applying cosmetic in the laboratory.

5. Nothing should be pippetted with the mouth.

Gummed label should not be licked nether should pen or pencil be put in the mouth or stucked in the ear.

6. Protective gloves or plastic aprons should be worn when collecting blood sample for hepatitis AIDS or viral hemorrhagic fever investigation.

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7. Used needle should be inserted back into it guard immediately after use. But due to the increase awareness of the risk of infection from needle pricks it is no longer advisable to record use needle. Instead, sharpsafe, container should be made available for immediate disposal of used needles. The container are finally incinerated.

8. When handling spaceman or culture containing highly infectious pathogens gloves should be worn.

9. Process specimen or culture containing highly infectious pathogen in the safety cabinet.

10. Any Cuts, insect bites, open sore or wound should be covered with waterproof adhesive dressing.

11. Fingernail should be kept short.

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12. All infected or contaminated material should be disinfected before disposal.

13. There should be a jar of disinfectant on each bench at the start of the day work. The disinfectant must be change everyday.

14. In case of any spillage, disinfection solution should be Poured to cover the spilled material and left for 15 minutes before cleaning up.

15. Affected glassware should be disinfected by soaking overnight in hydrochlorite solutions and cleaning thoroughly under running tap water.

16. At the end of the day, all the workbench should be clean with disinfectant.

17. Before leaving the laboratory for any length of time and should be washed with soap and water thoroughly.

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