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The page below is a sample from the LabCE course Overview of Prion Diseases. Access the complete course and earn ASCLS P.A.C.E.-approved continuing education credits by subscribing online.

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Infection Control Strategies

Even though no case of human prion disease is known to have occurred through occupational accident or injury, a number of strategies have been proposed to minimize the theoretical risk of infection:
  1. Contamination of unbroken skin with internal body fluids or tissue: wash with detergent and abundant quantities of warm water. (avoid scrubbing), rinse, and dry. Brief exposure (1 minute to 0.1N NaOH or a 1:10 dilution of bleach) can be considered for maximum safety.
  2. Needle sticks or lacerations: gently encourage bleeding; wash (avoid scrubbing) with warm soapy water, rinse, dry and cover with a waterproof dressing. Further treatment (eg, sutures) should be appropriate to the type of injury. Report the injury according to normal procedures for the hospital or health care facility/laboratory.
  3. Splashes into the eye or mouth: irrigate with either saline (eye) or tap water (mouth); report according to normal procedures for the hospital or health care/laboratory.
  4. Note: Health and safety guidelines mandate reporting of injuries, and records should be kept for no less than 20 years.