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Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Question

Do you have a recommended policy for body fluid cleaning? We have to respond to vomit clean-up, especially among the smaller children at the elementary grade level.


Answer

Wear gloves for protection. Apply a coagulant to any liquid or absorb into a paper towel or disposable cloth) This makes it easier and safer to pick up the vomit or liquid with a dust pan. A putty knife, small squeegee or polypropylene brush are non-absorbent and can be sanitized readily, so they could be used to assist pick-up.
Place the vomit in a toilet, flush it, and disinfect the bowl. If the amount is small, it would also be ok to place the waste in a trash bag and seal it before placing it in the dumpster. Down the sanitary sewer is the best approach and flush two or three times to clear the line. Don't put the towel or cloth down the drain, these items should be bagged and disposed of properly.
Often a bleach solution (1oz bleach in 10oz water) or a commerical disinfecant (Quat or Phenol) is used to disinfect the area. Obviously bleach would not be appropriate on fabrics or carpet and don't forget to pre-clean and allow 7 to 10 minutes dwell time for the disinfectant.
If carpet or upholstery is involved, the use of a rinse extractor is effective. If none is available, use a sprayed-on solution of disinfectant, picked up with a wet vac.
Clean the equipment immediately after use and wash you hands.
Lynn E. Krafft, ICAN/ATEX Associate Editor
lekrafft@juno.com