Dr. D. Y. Patil Vidyapeeth, Pune
(Deemed to be University)
Dr. D. Y. Patil School of Allied Health Sciences,
Sant Tukaram Nagar, Pimpri, Pune-411018.

Biosafety: Where Prevention Meets Care

Biosafety: Where Prevention Meets Care

Learn about biosafety in healthcare: prevention measures, safety protocols, and protective equipment.

Mrs. Rohini Adepwar
March, 14 2024
150

Biosafety is an integral part of the healthcare system because it's all about keeping everyone safe and healthy. WHO (2006) has described biosafety as the containment principles, technologies, and practices that are implemented to prevent unintentional exposure to pathogens and toxins, or their accidental release.

Imagine going to the doctor or hospital and not worrying about getting sick from germs or chemicals—they're working hard to make sure that doesn't happen. They have special rules and ways of doing things to ensure nobody accidentally gets exposed to harmful stuff like germs, chemicals, or even radiation. It's like having a safety net to catch any dangers before they can cause harm. So, whether you're a patient or a healthcare worker, biosafety is there to protect you and keep things running smoothly.

Biosafety in Hospitals

In the hospital, biosafety is crucial at every stage of treatment procedures. A dedicated team develops biosafety guidelines and ensures they are followed closely at each step. Any failure to comply or even a small mistake could pose risks to the patient's life, the healthcare workers, or both.

Biosafety in Laboratory/Research Facilities

The laboratory staff is regularly engaged in handling highly infectious biological specimens that can be transmitted. It is the responsibility of each lab personnel to manage these biological specimens in accordance with good clinical laboratory practices.

Different biosafety levels have been established based on the severity of pathogens and the risk of infection, and strict adherence to these levels is required. Proper disposal of laboratory waste is carried out according to the biohazard waste management system.

Additionally, the formulation of a laboratory safety plan is crucial as part of biosafety measures. While safety guidelines may vary across different healthcare facilities such as hospitals, medical laboratories, research laboratories, chemical laboratories, radiology, and imaging centers, they all share the common objective of ensuring safety for everyone involved.

Protective Measures for Biosafety

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

Usage of Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs) is mandatory, such as aprons, gloves, goggles, masks, caps, face shields, respiratory protection, TLD batches in Radiology, etc., to minimize the risk. Along with its usage, it is the responsibility of the user to dispose of it as per institutional guidelines of biohazard waste management.

Decontamination

Effective decontamination procedures should be implemented, such as fumigation and sterilization of equipment, lab accessories, and work area surfaces to minimize the risk of infection.

Access Controls

There should be restricted access to the area where the infectious agents are handled and stored. Only authorized persons should be allowed access at specific facilities. Symbols for fire safety, biohazard, radiation hazard, and physical safety should be placed at places whenever necessary as a warning sign.

Vaccination and Health Monitoring

It should be ensured that healthcare workers are vaccinated for relevant diseases. Also, there should be regular health checkups to monitor the risk of occupational exposure.

Emergency Preparedness

Each healthcare facility should be prepared with its emergency response plans, such as an evacuation plan in case of fire, emergency contact numbers list, and any accidental exposure or spillage. Regular mock drill sessions should be conducted, and each healthcare worker must be trained to handle such emergency situations.

Waste Management

Proper segregation at the time of generation is the main key to biohazard waste management. After segregation, it should be properly packaged and labeled for safe disposal as per local regulations and guidelines.

Documentation and Record-Keeping

Proper Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) should be established for various hospital and laboratory procedures. Accurate records of biosafety procedures, risk assessments, and personnel training should be maintained and reviewed regularly. Each incident should be documented. Also, corrective actions/preventive actions should be identified for continuous improvements.

Monitoring and Auditing

Regular monitoring and auditing, both internally and externally, help ensure that all biosafety practices and procedures adhere to established protocols, SOPs, and regulatory guidelines. Third-party audits can identify additional risks and areas for improvement, further enhancing safety measures.

In summary, biosafety serves as a crucial element in the healthcare domain, bridging the gap between prevention and care. Through the reduction of risks, prevention of infections, and advancement of global health security, biosafety plays an essential role in preserving human health and overall well-being.

At our Dr. D. Y. Patil School of Allied Health Sciences, we've structured the curriculum for all our courses to ensure that every student comprehensively understands all aspects of biosafety. This approach aims to equip each student with the primary goal of prioritizing patient care and safety in their work.

For more information regarding our academic programs, you can reach us at https://alliedsciences.dpu.edu.in/.

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