Hepatitis B Immunoglobulins, Hepatitis B Vaccine, and antiretroviral agents for Human Immunodeficiency Virus Post Exposure Prophylaxis should be available for timely administration after exposure to suspected blood or other body fluids. Furthermore, medical evaluations, counseling and post-exposure testing should be available whether or not PEP is administered. Fire departments should update their written "Communicable Disease Program" or Standard of Operations to assure consistency with the NFPA 1581: Standard of Fire Department Infection Control Program and the OSHA Blood-borne Pathogens Standard [29 CFR 1910.1030; 56 Fed. Reg. 64004 (1991)]. And all fire fighters should be familiar with these recommendations.
Prevention is the most important and efficient manner of combating infectious diseases such as Hepatitis B, C and HIV. Education, training and the proper use of personal protective equipment are the hallmark of prevention. Universal precautions should be used whenever there is potential for exposure to blood and body fluids. In addition, training and refresher courses should be offered on a regular basis. Specific recommendations can be found in NFPA 1581, ch.2.
National Clinicians' Post-Exposure Prophylaxis Hotline ([PEPline] 1-888-448-4911)
CDC Viral Hepatitis link: http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/diseases/hepatitis/
CDC link for HIV/AIDS: http://www.cdc.gov/hiv/dhap.htm
IAFF discussion of Hepatitis C: hepc/index.html
NFPA Online Safety Training: http://www.targetsafety.com/nfpabbp/
OSHA: Bloodborne Pathogens Standard [29 CFR 1910.1030; 56 Fed. Reg. 64004 (1991)]: http://www.osha-slc.gov/OshStd_data/1910_1030.html
NFPA 1581, Ch.2