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42 Cards in this Set

  • Front
  • Back
Define "pathogen."
Pathogens are the organisms that cause infection, such as viruses and bacteria.
How can pathogens be spread?
Pathogens can be spread through the air or by contact with blood and other body fluids.
Define "airborne pathogens."
Airborne pathogens are pathogens spread by tiny droplets that spray during coughing, sneezing, or breathing.
How can airborne pathogens enter the body?
Airborne pathogens can enter your body through your eyes or when you inhale.
Define "bloodborne pathogens."
Bloodborne pathogens are pathogens that can be contracted by exposure to blood or sometimes other body fluids.
How can bloodborne pathogens enter the body?
Bloodborne pathogens can enter the body through open wounds, exposed mucous membranes, and even minor breaks in the skin.
Since it's impossible for an EMT to detect all pathogens just by looking at a patient, all body fluids must be considered ________.
Define "standard precautions."
Standard precautions are a strict form of infection control that is based on the assumption that all blood and other body fluids are infectious.
What are some other words for "standard precautions?"
Body substance isolation (BSI) precautions, or infection control
What's OSHA?
OSHA is the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, and it issues workplace safety and health guidelines.
What are some standard precautions should you keep in mind when called to the scene of a motor vehicle collision?
Disposable gloves to protect you from blood and heavy-duty gloves to protect you from broken glass.
What are some standard precautions you should keep in mind when called to a nursing home for an interfacility transfer?
Disposable gloves to protect you from possible contact with body fluids.
What are some standard precautions you should keep in mind when working with an advanced life support crew treating a patient with chest pain?
An IV might be administered, so you should wear disposable gloves.
If you were treating a patient with chest pain who suddenly becomes unresponsive, what additional standard precautions should you think about?
You should make sure you're wearing disposable gloves and face protection to protect from spatter encountered in airway and suction procedures.
Define "personal protective equipment," or "PPE."
Personal protective equipment is equipment that protects the EMS worker from infection and/or exposure to the dangers of rescue operations.
Any contact such as a needle-stick or exposure to potentially infectious fluid must be _______.
properly documented according to local policy
Define "contamination."
Contamination is the introduction of dangerous chemicals, disease, or infectious materials.
What must an EMT do with his or her gloves between patients?
An EMT must change gloves between patients.
What type of glove must be worn when cleaning the ambulance and soiled equipment?
Heavy duty gloves must be worn when cleaning the ambulance and soiled equipment due to the likelihood of tears occurring during the work.
When must an EMT wash his or her hands?
An EMT must wash his or her hands between each patient contact, whether or not gloves were worn, and when hands are soiled.
What are the two methods of hand washing?
1) Thorough scrubbing with soap and water (preferred)

2) Cleaning with alcohol-based hand cleanser
What three pieces of personal protective equipment (PPE) must you wear if you reasonably expect contact with splashing, spattering, or spraying fluids?
1) Protective eyewear

2) Mask

3) Disposable gloves
What piece of personal protective equipment (PPE) must be worn when tuberculosis is suspected?
An N-95 or High Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) respirator approved by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH).
What is NIOSH?
NIOSH is the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health.
When heavy bleeding or childbirth is expected, what piece of personal protective equipment (PPE) should be worn?
A gown should be worn, as well as gloves and eye protection and a mask.
Why should you always encourage your crewmates to use proper PPE (personal protective equipment)?
Because as an EMT you have a moral and ethical obligation to do so, and it helps keep your crew in good health.
If in doubt...
...take standard precautions.
Which four communicable diseases are of particular concern to an EMT?
1) Hepatitis B
2) Hepatitis C
3) Tuberculosis
Hepatitis B and C are extremely hardy viruses. So what assumption can you make about body fluids -- dried or otherwise -- that will keep you safe?
Assume that body fluid in ANY form is infectious.
What assumption can you make about any patient with a productive cough that will keep you safer from tuberculosis (TB)?
Assume that any patient with a productive cough is infected with TB.
Where can one expect an increased chance of contracting tuberculosis?
You can expect higher tuberculosis infection rates in nursing homes, correctional facilities, homeless shelters, and anywhere there's a crowd living in a confined space for long periods of time.
How can AIDS be transmitted to an EMT?
AIDS can be transmitted by contact with blood via open wounds, needle sticks, or blood transfusions. A patient with a history of intravenous drug use and unprotected sex is more likely to have the disease.
What must an EMT do after any suspected exposure incident -- including mucous membrane or broken-skin contact with blood or other potentially infectious materials -- that happen on the job?
An EMT must report it immediately.
What is the Ryan White CARE act?
The Ryan White CARE act mandates a procedure by which EMTs, firefighters, police, and first responders can seek to find out if they have been exposed to potentially life-threatening diseases while providing patient care.
In regards to the Ryan White CARE act, what does every emergency response organization have?
Every emergency response organization has a designated officer responsible for gathering information regarding possible infection exposure.
By what process is an EMT informed that he or she was exposed to an airborne disease?
Once the patient is diagnosed at the hospital, the hospital will let the designated officer know that the patient was infected, and the designated officer will notify the EMT.
By what process is an EMT informed that he or she was exposed to a bloodborne disease?
An EMT must request a follow-up from their designated officer after a body-fluid exposure incident. The designated officer will gather the information necessary to determine whether or not the patient was infected.
If an emergency worker requests it, will a hospital have the power to require that a patient be tested for bloodborne illness?
What are the common symptoms of tuberculosis?
Symptoms include productive cough, coughing blood, weight loss, loss of appetite, lethargy, weakness, night sweats, and fever.
When is an EMT required to wear a NIOSH-approved N-95 or HEPA respirator?
1) When caring for patients suspected of having TB. High-risk areas include prisons, homeless shelters, nursing homes, and drug treatment centers.

2) When transporting an individual from such a setting in a closed vehicles. If possible, keep the windows of the ambulance open and set the heating of the AC and heat on non-circulating cycle.

3) When performing high-risk procedures such as endotracheal suctioning and intubation.
How often is an EMT generally tested for tuberculosis exposure?
An EMT is tested yearly for tuberculosis exposure.
What test can detect tuberculosis exposure?
The tuberculin skin test (TST, formerly called the PPD or purified protein derivative test) can detect tuberculosis exposure.