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  • Contact with diseases....

    Yesterday I arrested a female shoplifting, during our conversation she revealed she had scabies, gonorrhea and possibly TB. It was a routine stop, she did not resist but it got me thinking. I would hate to bring some nasty diseases home to the wife and kids, I do keep antibacterial in my bag so whenever I get done with one I use it until I can get my hands washed. I know there have been times when I came in contact with someone with HIV and Hep-C.

    What steps do you all take to protect yourself from the nasty folks you have to deal with on a regular basis? Has anyone here ever contracted something, if so how? If there are other things I can do besides where gloves and use antibacterial that would be good information. I know you cannot protect yourself from these types of thing 100% of the time but any info would be great.
    "Then there are sheepdogs," he went on, "and I'm a sheepdog. I live to protect the flock and confront the wolf."

    People who love sausage and people who believe in justice should never watch either of them being made. ~Otto Bismarck

    "Don't put yourself in a position to investigate yourself" ~CommonSense

    "Now, what is the rule?" "Protect myself at all times."

    sigpic

  • #2
    Universal precautions. I treat 'em all like they're infested with a flesh eating virus.
    Your agency should offer a blood borne pathogens class. Look into it and see if you can calm some of your worries.
    You can't be 100% protected, it's one of the job hazards. All you can do is make sure you're doing everything you can, and it sounds like you are.
    "You have never lived until you have almost died. For those who fight for it, life has a flavor the protected will never know." -Lt. Col. Dave Grossman"

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    • #3
      this is kind of funny as i was in the veterinary field before..scabies is a mite that can burrow under your skin, itches like hell and reproduces quick can really mess your skin up, scarring and all sorts of undesireable thiings...you have to have prolonged skin to skin contact to catch so gloves is a good idea/preventative. her clothing may harbor the nasties too so if you come across someone with scabies, bag and wash your uniform as soon as possible and probobly a good idea to disinfect the back of your cruiser. this condition is called mange in the animal field,(different mite, same effect)

      Gono you should have no problem...i hope...j/k

      and TB it depends on how active her condition is, my department issues the civil detention and transport of TB active delinquents in NYC as part of our duties, you absoultely have to wear a mask, but not just your typical construction type filter masks, you have to have a particulate mask like the niosh approved n95's or similar mask

      http://fluarmour.com/proddetail.php?...FQZZHgod83jHTQ

      gloves are a must, during transport if the person is very contagious we will be in full PPE suits as well though i know this is not feasable for our regular every day interactions. and if i deal with a person that i know has some kind of contagious disease i bag and wash my uniform at the end of my tour. also you will be surprised at what animals can carry, i do the same if i come into contact with one.

      like SgtGeico said treat them all like they have the fleash eating bacteria...

      about 3 years ago i got jabbed by a needle during a search, i didn't have good gloves at the time, off to the hospital for a coctail and the next day i laid out 40 bucks for a pair of kevlar lined/puncture resistant gloves.
      sigpic
      "From now on, all your opinions will be ignored!"

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      • #4
        It's not a bad idea to get tested for TB every year. Our agency picks up the tab. We just have to get it done. Other than that keep I wash up with alcohol gel if I touch someone and then I wash my hands as soon as possible. If I know they are going to be nasty beforehand I glove up.
        The early bird may get the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese.

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        • #5
          FWIW, in my agency, any time someone is exposed to a person with a serious communicable disease, or a toxic substance, we do a workers comp report of injury, but mark it "Information Only." This report stays in their file for the remainder of their career, so if months or years later they develop an illness that could have been caused by a single of cumulative exposures, everything has been properly documented and the officer's interests are protected.

          We will do a report on just about anything that has the potential for harm such as TB exposure, pesticide exposure, prolonged loud noise exposure, etc. One year we had bad forest fires and smoke was heavy in the air for a week. Even though we were 10 miles from the burn, we did one on every officer who worked in the field because they inhaled whatever was in the air while they were out on patrol. With this in mind, you might want to document your exposure.
          Going too far is half the pleasure of not getting anywhere

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          • #6
            Originally posted by L-1 View Post
            FWIW, in my agency, any time someone is exposed to a person with a serious communicable disease, or a toxic substance, we do a workers comp report of injury, but mark it "Information Only." This report stays in their file for the remainder of their career, so if months or years later they develop an illness that could have been caused by a single of cumulative exposures, everything has been properly documented and the officer's interests are protected.
            oops forgot to mention this too, we do the same thing as an information only aided case and we document in our log books...
            sigpic
            "From now on, all your opinions will be ignored!"

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