It’s ok, I’ve thought about it too… If I do CPR will I catch something? Don’t feel bad for thinking that. It’s completely normal. There is a lot of bad stuff out there and the last thing that I want to do is catch a disease that is going to kill me for trying to help someone. Unfortunately, many CPR Classes don’t cover bloodborne pathogens. The list of bloodborne pathogens (diseases that can be passed through blood) is growing: HIV, Hepatitus B, Hepatitus C, Hepatitus D, etc.
So what are your chances?
Not Good. You’re probably thinking, “Not good like 1 out of 100?” The answer is more like 1 out of 1,000,000. Although the chance is slim, there are ways to protect yourself. Gloves, safety glasses, and CPR barrier devices, are three that come to mind right away.
Gloves come in many different materials and sizes. Whenever performing CPR or first aid gloves should be worn. The most popular types are latex and nitrile. Nitrile are preferred because there are people who have severe latex allergies. Always make sure that your gloves are the correct size and that there are no holes or tears in them.
Safety glasses are going to protect your eyes from blood, vomit, or any other sort of “goo” out there. If you are an EMT make it a habit to always wear them. There is an article called, “CPR without safety glasses? Risky!” that I wrote a while back that covers what type of glasses I wear on the job.
CPR Barrier Devices
CPR barrier devices are the most important piece of equipment that you can use to protect yourself from disease. Bag Valve Masks, Pocket Masks, and Keychain Masks could mean the difference from you being that 1 in a million. We will go into detail on these three in the next part of the series!