Blood spills or other human body fluids that occur inside or in the outside environment need to be decontaminated to prevent the potential transmission of communicable disease. The circumstances associated with blood spills can obviously vary greatly depending on the volume and type of contact surface. A small amount of blood, if splashed, can cover a large surface area. A large volume, if undisturbed on a flat surface, can pool in a relatively small area. Because of the unpredictable nature of spills and the various volumes, each incident must be evaluated by a designated and trained individual (i.e. REM, Building Service Supervisor, PUFD personnel, or a PUPD detective or investigator).
Indoor spills can either be cleaned by in-house service staff, or Building Services can be contacted to dispatch a clean-up crew. Outdoor spills can also be handled by in-house staff, Building Services, or in cases of large volume spills (accidents), the PUFD. After consultation with REM, assigned individuals from these areas will be authorized to contact an outside vendor in the event of a major spill.
Note: blood spill clean-up procedures should only be utilized by employees who are current with their annual Bloodborne Pathogen Training.
Small Spill: A volume that is easily managed with a minimal amount of decontamination equipment and materials.
Large Spill: A volume that would require more than one person, large amounts of decontamination equipment and material, and/or contamination of objects that would prove difficult to decontaminate, i.e., rugs, mattresses, furniture, electronic gear.
Major Spill: Large amounts of blood and/or tissue (usually as a result of a homicide or suicide).
Micro-encapsulation Absorbent: A dry material that rapidly converts a liquid into a solid. This material greatly simplifies blood spill clean-up and can be obtained through any lab safety vendor.
Blood Spills Inside Buildings
Small and Large Indoor Spills
Response Team: Building Services or Trained In-House Staff
- The individual(s) cleaning the blood spill need to use the proper personal protective equipment (PPE), (e.g. water impervious gloves, outerwear, goggles, etc.)
- Spray the blood contaminated surfaces with a 1-10 solution of bleach and water.
- Absorb and remove all traces of the spill with paper towels or other acceptable materials (Micro-encapsulation absorbent). Be careful not to contaminate the outside of the spray bottle.
- Re-spray the cleaned area with the bleach solution and allow to air dry.
- Place all waste materials, including disposable PPE, into a plastic autoclavable biohazard bag. Be careful not to contaminate the outside of the bag. Mattresses, rugs, and other large items that cannot fit in a biohazard bag can be wrapped in plastic wrap after being decontaminated.
- This type of waste cannot be discarded through the regular trash service. Biohazardous waste must be decontaminated (autoclaved). This can be done at the Purdue Student Health Center . Call 41496 for further details.
Note: Inspect the blood spill area closely, making sure that there is nothing missed and that the clean-up process is complete.
Outdoor Clean-up Procedure
Small Outdoor Spills
Response Team: Building Services, Fire Department, or Trained In-House Staff
- The individual(s) cleaning the blood spill need to use the proper personal protective equipment (PPE), e.g. water impervious gloves, outerwear, goggles, etc.
- Make a disinfectant solution by pouring 1oz. house bleach to 10 oz. of water. This will give you a 1 to 10 ratio of chlorine disinfectant.
- As you enter the spill area, be careful not to step in any contaminated fluids. Flood the spill area with the bleach and water solution allowing it to stand for fifteen minutes. Note: Under certain conditions, a micro-encapsulation absorbent material may be applied to pooled blood so that the bulk of the contamination can be removed to a biohazard bag prior to decontamination.
- Disperse the disinfected spill with a 5 gallon bucket of clear water or a spray from a fire hose.
Large Outdoor Spills
Response Team: Fire Department
- The individual(s) cleaning the blood spill need to use the proper personal protective equipment (PPE), e.g. water impervious gloves, outerwear, goggles, and in some cases a Tyvek suit, shoe covers, goggles, N-95 particulate mask.
- Large tissue particles must be removed and placed in an autoclavable biohazard bag prior to spill clean-up.
- Make a disinfectant solution by pouring two quarts of household bleach into a five-gallon container and add enough water to fill the container. This will give you a 1 to 10 ratio of chlorine disinfectant.
- As you enter the spill area, be careful not to step in any contaminated fluids. Flood the spill area with the bleach and water solution, allowing it to stand for fifteen minutes. Note: Under certain conditions a micro-encapsulation absorbent material may be applied to pooled blood so that the bulk of the contamination can be removed to a biohazard bag prior to decontamination.
- Disperse the disinfected spill with a generous spray from a fire hose.
- Place blood soaked articles into the red biohazard bags along with any contaminated single use PPE items.
- Articles that are too large for biohazard bags, i.e., carpets, mattresses, or other blood soaked items, should be decontaminated with the bleach solution and wrapped in a non-absorbent leak proof material (plastic sheeting).
- Autoclave the biohazardous waste bags through PUSH.
- Note: If there is an inadvertent blood product splash to your unprotected skin, wash the area with soap and water as soon as possible. If the splash is on abraded skin, in the eyes, mouth, or nose be sure to notify your supervisor and report to PUSH Urgent Care as soon as possible so that follow-up procedures can take place.
Note: Inspect the blood spill area closely making sure that there is nothing missed and that the clean-up process is complete.
Outside Vendors Available
for Major Spills Indoors or Outdoors
In the event of a major spill and after consultation with REM, assigned individuals from either Building Services, PUPD, and/or the PUFD will be authorized to contact an outside vendor. For a list of potential vendors available to decontaminate major blood and body fluid spills associated with suicide/homicide situations contact REM.
Blood Spill Clean-up
Suggested Clean-up Kit
- Single use Tyvek suit and shoe covers
- Goggles/face shield
- Single use Nitrile gloves
- Antibacterial hand wipe towelettes
- Micro-encapsulation absorbent material
- Five gallon container
- Two quarts of household bleach
- Large autoclavable biohazard disposal bags
Robert Golden (Biosafety Officer)
Office Telephone: (765) 494-1496
Jim Schweitzer (REM Director)
Office Telephone: (765) 494-2350
Home Telephone: (765) 463-7043