Central Connecticut State University




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Reviewed May 2003

The athletic training program adheres to the practice of “Universal Precautions” as outlined by O.S.H.A. (Occupational Safety and Health Administration).  This is necessary to ensure that all necessary procedures are taken to minimize health risks to patients, staff, and visitors (4). 

This standard applies to all athletic department members (facility personnel, coaches, managers, strength and conditioning staff, and the athletic training staff) who, under normal daily tasks, may anticipate contact with blood and other potentially infectious material containing organisms such as HIV, HBV, and HBC (1).  Athletic training staff members include the head athletic trainer, assistant athletic trainers, university assistants, graduate assistant athletic trainers and athletic trainer students participating in the pre-clinical and clinical components of the athletic training education program.


A.  Injury/Illness Management

  1. Management of open wounds

  2. Management of open fractures and dislocations

  3. Blister care

  4. CPR

  5. Rescue Breathing

B.  Environmental Management

  1. Soiled laundry and linens

  2. Cleaning surfaces in work areas

  3. Disposal of all Bio-hazardous waste

Universal Precautions require all staff members working in the athletic training facility to treat all patient's blood and other potentially infectious material (OPIM) as though it is infected with HIV, HBV, HBC or other blood borne pathogens.  Universal precautions and infection control must be practiced at all times to minimize the chance of exposure to HIV, HBV, and HBC (4).

HIV, HBV, HBC and other blood borne pathogens can be present in the following:

  1. Body fluids, which include saliva, vaginal secretions, cerebral spinal fluid, synovial, pleural, peritoneal, pericardial, and amniotic fluids, and any other body fluid containing visible blood.

  2. Unfixed tissues and/or organs, other than skin

  3. Blood, which is the primary concern with exposure and transmission of HIV, HBV, and HBC in the occupational setting.


  1. Gloves (latex) represent the most common form of a protective barrier against contamination  (2).

    1. Gloves should be worn whenever the possibility of exposure to blood or other fluids exists.

    2. Gloves must be used when touching blood, body fluids, mucous membranes, or non-contact skin of all patients.  This also includes handling items or surfaces soiled with blood or other body fluids.

    3. Gloves MUST be changed after contact with each procedure and disposed of in the appropriate Biohazard container.  This also applies in the event of a defective, ripped, or torn glove.

    4. Any cut, laceration, abrasion, or cracked/damaged skin on the athletic trainer should be covered with the appropriate bandage prior to treating patients.


  2. Hands and other skin surfaces should be washed and decontaminated immediately after contact with each patient.  Hands should be washed in soap and warm water for a period of 30 seconds (5).  Disposable towelettes or instant hand sanitizing lotions should be used if access to soap and water is not immediately available (example; while on the athletic fields). Hands should be washed as soon as access to soap and water is possible (3).

  3. Mucous areas (mouth, nose, etc.) should be rinsed for decontamination immediately after exposure occurs.  The incident should be reported following the proper procedures outlined later.

  4. Mouth pipetting or suctioning of blood or other potentially infectious material is forbidden (1).

  5. Personal Protective Equipment (gowns, masks, goggles) is appropriate in the anticipation of splattering or splashing of blood.  Although this is not a common occurrence, these items are located in the drawer labeled biohazard to the left of the sink in the athletic training facility (4).

  6. Each athletic training kit shall have a CPR mask with one-way valve, gloves, disposable towelettes or instant hand sanitizing lotions for decontamination, goggles, and red bio-hazard waste bag.  These items should be inspected prior to practices or athletic events and replaced if necessary.  Broken/damaged equipment should be reported to the appropriate supervisor.

  7. Sharp items (scalpels, needles, etc.) must be handled with extreme caution to prevent accidental injury or exposure.  After use, these items should be placed in puncture resistant containers for proper disposal.  DO NOT attempt to recap, bend, or break needles or blades (1).

  8. Broken glass contaminated with blood or other potentially infectious material should be swept up with a dust pan and broom.  Gloves must be worn to minimize accidental injury; NO ATTEMPT should be made to pick up pieces with hands for disposal.  (1). Broken glass contaminated with blood should be deposited into in the sharps container.

  9. All procedures involving blood or other potentially infectious material must be performed in such a manner to minimize aerosolization, splashing, spraying, splattering or generation of droplets (1).

  10. Application of lip balm, cosmetics, and contact lenses is prohibited in the athletic training facility to prevent/minimize potential risk  (2)

  11. Food or beverage consumption is prohibited in all areas of the athletic training facility.  Storage of food is not allowed in the ice machines, shelves, cabinets, or counter tops where other potentially infectious materials are present (2).

  12. Accidental injuries or exposure to blood or other potentially infectious materials should be reported to the supervising athletic trainer immediately.  All accidents will be reviewed by the infection control committee and are confidential (3).


  1. Bio-hazardous waste bags and containers that are damaged or full should be removed from the athletic training facility. All material is stored in the closet # 0090701; bags must be sealed securely.  The Head/Assistant Athletic Trainer will be responsible for annual collection of Bio-hazardous Waste.
    :  All bio-hazardous waste & sharps containers are marked with the universal BIOHAZARD symbol for proper identification.  These containers should be evaluated on a monthly basis for cracks, leaks, or defects (1).

  2. All work surfaces must be cleaned immediately after treatment is provided to the patient; this also includes blood spills.  An approved biohazard product such as Cavicide disinfectant is the preferred method at CCSU, although a bleach and water solution mixed to the ratio of 1:10 is an acceptable method, as is isopropyl alcohol (1).

  3. Disposable materials contaminated with blood or other body fluids should be handled with gloves and placed in the appropriate container marked BIO-HAZARD (1).  Waste containers and bags must be present at all practices or events.  These items are located in the Blood Borne Pathogen Kits.

  4. Linens and towels with potentially infected materials must be separated from regular laundry (2).  These items should be placed in a red plastic bag and marked BIO-HAZARD.  The bag is then sealed and taken to the equipment room for appropriate sanitization.     

  5. Whirlpools, if exposed to blood or other potentially infectious materials, must be drained and cleaned immediately after use.  The interior surface should be sterilized with the appropriate decontaminate solution and rinsed.  Regular cleaning procedure is then followed. 

  6. Floor spills should be covered with absorbent materials; using gloves, the appropriate disinfectant is applied. Manufacturers directions should be followed for proper use.  The area should be mopped to remove disinfectant;  rinse the mop with clean water and wash area as necessary (1).

  7. Modality equipment should be cleaned and sterilized if contact with blood or other potentially infectious material is suspected.  Electrode pads, sound heads, wiring, etc. should be cleaned following manufacturers instructions to prevent further exposure.  Athletic training facility policy requires the use of an anti-bacterial gauze pads as a protective barrier for all electrodes.

  8. Non-disposable sharps, tweezers, etc. should be cleaned and scrubbed with warm water and soap, dried, and re-packed in the sterilization pack after contamination with blood or other potentially infectious materials. These items will be sent to Health Service on campus for sterilization.


  1. This is provided on an annual basis to all athletic training staff members at no charge.  Vaccines are administered in a three dose series for prevention of the Hepatitis-B Virus. 

  2. Immunization arrangements will be made through the Head Athletic Trainer (3).


  1. Accidental exposure to blood or other potentially infectious materials should be reported to the supervising athletic trainer immediately.  Information regarding the individual and nature of the incident is strictly confidential.  This will be kept in a locked file for a thirty-year period (1).

  2. Arrangements will be made for appropriate testing and treatment through the Head Athletic Trainer. 


  1. HIV, HBV, and HBC training and education will be provided at the beginning of each semester; participation is mandatory for all staff members prior to working in the athletic training facility.  Athletic Training  records will include name, date, & social security number. This will be kept on file for a minimum period of three years( 1).

  2. A waiver form for those individuals who opt not to be vaccinated will be kept on file.


  1. Occupational Safety and Health Administration Policy and Procedures Manual: Standard of Compliance.  1992.

  2. Webster, D. M.S., ATC  and Kaiser, D.  M.P.E., ATC  “ An Infection Control Policy For The Athletic Training  Setting”.  Journal Of Athletic Training Spring 1991.  Vol. 26, No. 1.

  3. Buxton, B. EdD. ATC et. al.  “Prevention of Hepatitis B Virus in Athletic Training”.  Journal Of Athletic Training.  June, 1994.  Vol. 29.  No. 2.

  4. University of Connecticut Infectious Disease Control Policy and Procedure Manual.

  5. Source Unknown.


  1. The National Athletic Trainers Associations Position Statement for Blood Borne Pathogens Guidelines for Athletic Trainer, May 11, 1995, www.nata.org

  2. The NCAA Sports Medicine Handbook. NCAA Committee on Competitive Safeguards and Medical Aspects of Sports, 2002-2003 edition.

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