Communicable Disease Procedure

Contracting HIV/AIDS during athletics is close to nonexistent, there is always a risk, however remote, the blood borne infectious diseases can be transmitted.

The theoretical chance of transmission increases with the number and severity of open wounds. There are, according to the Penn State Sport Medicine Newsletter (April 1996), no documented cases of transmission through sports.

The following suggestions should be helpful:

  1. Stop the bleeding. Cover the open wound. If there is an excessive amount of blood on the attire, it must be changed before further activity. Seeing blood means you have an injured player. The player should leave the game or practice.
  2. Use gloves or other precautions to prevent skin and mucous-membrane exposure when contact with blood or other body fluids is anticipated.
  3. Immediately wash your hands and other skin surfaces if they come in contact with body fluids. Wash hands immediately after removing gloves.
  4. Clean all blood contaminated surfaces and equipment with a solution of household bleach (CDC recommends 1-100).
  5. Practice proper disposal procedures to prevent injuries caused by needles, scalpels and other sharp instruments or devices.
  6. Although saliva has not been implicated in HIV transmission, to minimize the need for emergency mouth to mouth resuscitation, mouthpieces, resuscitation bags, or other ventilation devices should be available for use.
  7. Athletic trainers/coaches with bleeding or oozing skin conditions should refrain from all direct athletic care until the condition resolves.
  8. Contaminated towels should be properly disposed of or disinfected.
  9. Follow acceptable guidelines in the immediate control of bleeding and when handling bloody dressings, mouth guards and other articles containing body fluids.
  10. Clothing, stained with blood shall be prohibited.
  11. The activity or game should be stopped when bleeding is discovered.

from: The National Federation of State High School Associations