JHCCA-R: School Managment of Students Infected with Blood Borne Pathogens such as Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C, and Human Immuno-Deficiency Virus (HIV)

Classification: 
J: Students
Code: 
JHCCA-R

Recommendations Adopted by the Board of School Trustees (the “Board”)

  • Every employee has a duty to treat as highly confidential any knowledge or speculation concerning the infection status of a student. Parents and students must be involved in the decision whether or not to inform others and, where appropriate, will be participants during the transmission of this information to ensure that everyone involved understands the situation and the implications of any actions that may be taken. The medical health officer, or designate, can provide assistance to school staff when such issues arise.
  • Decisions regarding the type of educational and care setting for HIV-infected students will be based on the behaviour, neurological development, and physical condition of the student and the expected type of interaction with others in that setting. These decisions are best made on a case-by-case basis, using a team approach, including the student's physician, public health personnel, the student, the student's parent or guardian, and the personnel associated with the proposed care or educational setting.
  • For most immuno-compromised students, the benefits of an unrestricted setting outweigh the risks of acquiring potentially harmful infections in the setting and the minimal risk of blood-borne pathogen transmission to others.  Students infected with blood-born pathogens will be allowed to attend school.
  • Personnel providing care for neurologically disabled students who lack control of their body secretions or who display behaviour, such as biting, and those students who have uncoverable, oozing lesions will follow guidelines for infection control available through the community health nurse. In addition, because people can be unaware that they have a blood-borne infection, school staff who may be required to provide first aid to others should be aware of the guidelines.
  • Mandatory screening as a condition for school entry is not warranted.

GUIDELINES FOR PREVENTION OF INFECTION FROM BLOOD-BORNE VIRUSES [i.e. HIV (AIDS), HEPATITIS B, AND HEPATITIS C]

The following information is provided to assist persons providing first aid in schools. While the chances of caring for a person with one of these infections are very low, it is recommended that these guidelines regarding handling blood or any body fluid contaminated with blood be followed for all persons.

Guidelines

  • Contact with blood or body fluids should be avoided where possible and, if it is reasonable, the injured person should care for themselves under supervision; e.g., apply pressure to a bleeding wound.
  • When contact with blood or body fluids is necessary, gloves should be worn (latex or rubber gloves are adequate).
  • Disposable,single-use gloves should be used.
  • If the patient's blood or body fluid gets on the hands or body of the first-aid attendants, it should be washed off with soap and water as quickly as possible. If it gets in the eye, it should be rinsed immediately under running water.
  • Dressings and materials used to cleanse or cover wounds should be disposed of in a plastic bag-lined, covered receptacle. The entire plastic bag should be removed at the end of each day and the receptacle relined.
  • An effective disinfectant is normal household bleach diluted 1:10 in water and left for 10 minutes on any blood spills on floors or furniture prior to cleaning up (hot water and soap used on areas where bleach would cause damage). Disposable paper towels should be used to clean up such spills and discarded as above. Gloves should be worn for clean-up.
  • A puncture-proof sharps container should be available at each school to discard contaminated objects that could puncture or cut skin.

DMT Responsibility: AS-HR

Cross References: 
IGBG: Homebound Instruction; JEG: Exclusions and Exemptions from School Attendance, and Regulations
Revision Date: 
Aug 1990
Dec 1996
Sep 1998
Feb 1999