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Bloody blood

Scott W

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Thanks, Amy. I was going to give a short answer like, "Personal Protective Equipment is the stuff that keeps the blood away from contact with the body."

BTW - The next question will be, "What is OV/AG?" I usually call it organic vapor cartridges. This is a description of the desired type of filters in your respirator.
 

kevinj6121

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PPE stands for Personal Protective Equipment, which is things like gloves, face shield, apron or Tyvek suit, respirators, and the like. These are all barriers to put between yourself and potential hazardous materials like strong chemical fumes or pathogenic (disease-causing) agents like bacteria, viruses, prions, etc.

At minimum, most blood cleanup (which is classified as trauma scene cleanup regardless of how it happened or how much is present) requires a face shield, an apron, gloves, and a respirator with OV/AG cartridges. Taping gloves to sleeves of suit and wearing gumrubber boots over booties over footies of suit are extra protective measures that generally come into play with larger or "messier" losses. There are step-by-step instructions on donning (putting on) and doffing (taking off) PPE to do it properly.

Viruses and bacteria can enter the body through cuts or sores, through the soft wet tissues surrounding the eyes and lining the mouth and nose, and in multiple other ways. They can also hitchhike on your clothes for short periods, meaning you bring them home to your family. Hit a blood-spot with pressurized hot water, and you risk aerosolizing it and breathing it in.

Not all blood contains pathogens, obviously. But since we don't know if it does, we must always expect that it does and treat it as "hot" or infectious to protect ourselves and our customers. Most pathogenic material has a fairly short lifespan outside of the body, but blood does not dry evenly and a "dry" spot can actually hide quite a bit of liquid blood underneath its surface.

Full classes are available on how to treat these areas with minimum risk to all involved. It is an extremely lucrative business for people who have the mental strength to handle it... and a strong stomach. Believe you me, it doesn't get super-fun until you deal with bodily fluids that have been sitting in a hot room for a month or two. Think maggots.

A "small" blood spot may turn out to be a rather significant lake of dense, tacky red liquid that has congregated in the padding and soaked into the subfloor. Leaving it there, especially wet, will result in an unbelievably bad smell over time. Proper cleanup and thorough documentation of before and after is key.
Well that right there is as informative as it gets, thank you for taking the time to post all that good info
 

BonnetPro

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If you wouldn't get down on your hands and knees and lick up that dried-up crusty blood like a dog, don't clean it up without PPE. Ever. I don't care how old it is, or how little there is, or how you're afraid you're going to offend the customer.
Well said! Dry can equal dead but not always as "stuff" can still be living on the surface.

Not to rip off a bandage and open the wound but it may be very helpful to others if you tell the story of the two losses. My sincere condolences:(
 
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kevinj6121

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Well my blood job called back, stain came back but wasn't that bad at all, sprayed down some revive rocket citrus oxy encap, hit it with my little oreck orbital with a micro fiber with scrub strip pad on it, then a few days later i got this e-mail from customer

Hi Kevin,
Carpet looks great!! Stains did not come back and I am very happy as this means I don't have to rush and replace carpet. I wish you had taken some before and after pictures! Thanks again and I have recommended you on Nextdoor.com Carolina Shores.
Irene Simmons

and this is what she posted on next-door.com

Clean Rite Carpet Cleaning
I highly recommend Kevin with Clean Rit Carpet Cleaning. He went the extra mile as there had been an accident at our house and he had some difficult issues to deal with. He is very professional and our carpet looks great. Will definitely use him again...thanks Kevin.

3h ago · 25 neighborhoods in Recommendations
· 1 Reply

Denise Mecleary, Ocean Forest·2h ago
Love Kevin. Personable, professional, through and just an Awesome person
upload_2017-9-7_14-10-11.png
Tag a business
 

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Harry Mullett

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Well my blood job called back, stain came back but wasn't that bad at all, sprayed down some revive rocket citrus oxy encap, hit it with my little oreck orbital with a micro fiber with scrub strip pad on it, then a few days later i got this e-mail from customer

Hi Kevin,
Carpet looks great!! Stains did not come back and I am very happy as this means I don't have to rush and replace carpet. I wish you had taken some before and after pictures! Thanks again and I have recommended you on Nextdoor.com Carolina Shores.
Irene Simmons

and this is what she posted on next-door.com

Clean Rite Carpet Cleaning
I highly recommend Kevin with Clean Rit Carpet Cleaning. He went the extra mile as there had been an accident at our house and he had some difficult issues to deal with. He is very professional and our carpet looks great. Will definitely use him again...thanks Kevin.

3h ago · 25 neighborhoods in Recommendations
· 1 Reply

Denise Mecleary, Ocean Forest·2h ago
Love Kevin. Personable, professional, through and just an Awesome person
View attachment 72996Tag a business
Now you will be known as the "difficult job specialist" hope you are prepared to deal with that reputation. And charge accordingly.
 

kevinj6121

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Now you will be known as the "difficult job specialist" hope you are prepared to deal with that reputation. And charge accordingly.
I sure hope not, I consider myself to be very good but I certainly am not the best and I don't know everything. I think What helps me most in this business is my customers see how hard i work and I am a very good "people person" very personable and friendly and they all seem to like me, go figure LOL
 

Scott W

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... my customers see how hard i work and I am a very good "people person" very personable and friendly and they all seem to like me, go figure LOL
As i was reading this I was think of SNL and the coach that lives in a van down by the river.
 
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keep it clean

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As i was reading this I was think of SNL and the coach that lives in a van down by the river.
"Motivational Speaker" lol im going to search it and watch that. One of the best!
 

Select

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Frankly ALL of us should ALWAYS worry when we're dealing with bodily fluids. Even little crusty dried ones.

If you're not worried, you're not on alert. And if you're not on alert, accidents happen.

I've said before, the two guys I lost to blood-borne pathogens did a job for a "little old lady" who was just sweet as pie, and so friendly, and she just cut her toenails a little short so it wasn't but a few little droplets and she couldn't possibly have any bad diseases, right?

WRONG. Eighty bucks, and they got handed a death sentence in exchange.

That's two guys too many.

If you wouldn't get down on your hands and knees and lick up that dried-up crusty blood like a dog, don't clean it up without PPE. Ever. I don't care how old it is, or how little there is, or how you're afraid you're going to offend the customer.

*steps off soapbox*

I say this because you guys are my big loud argumentative extended family, and your welfare is always first and foremost in my mind.
Just booked a job to clean up blood where a cats toenail cut the old lady leg and squirted blood all over the carpet. The daughter says she used a rug doctor and got a lot of it out. This happened 3 days ago.

I booked it not knowing (after reading this thread) the full scope of cleaning the dangers of blood. Strongly considering calling back to cancel or charging a lot more to cover PPE equipment which I dont have!!!
 

Mama Fen

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Just booked a job to clean up blood where a cats toenail cut the old lady leg and squirted blood all over the carpet. The daughter says she used a rug doctor and got a lot of it out. This happened 3 days ago.

I booked it not knowing (after reading this thread) the full scope of cleaning the dangers of blood. Strongly considering calling back to cancel or charging a lot more to cover PPE equipment which I dont have!!!
PPE is not terribly expensive. And what better way to get introduced to a potentially lucrative (and eminently useful!) part of the industry than this? Go in armed with knowledge, and proper gear, and wow your customer with your abilities.

FEAR isn't necessary, nor is it healthy, when dealing with blood cleanup.

CAUTION is.

Don't be afraid, just be cautious. You're a sharp guy, full of smarts, and I have no doubt you can handle this successfully.
 
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Select

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PPE is not terribly expensive. And what better way to get introduced to a potentially lucrative (and eminently useful!) part of the industry than this? Go in armed with knowledge, and proper gear, and wow your customer with your abilities.

FEAR isn't necessary, nor is it healthy, when dealing with blood cleanup.

CAUTION is.

Don't be afraid, just be cautious. You're a sharp guy, full of smarts, and I have no doubt you can handle this successfully.
Well thank you for the kind words.

I guess I could find a tyvek suit, mask, gloves at Home Depot and be reasonably confident blood won’t infect me personally.

I’m really wondering the best way to disinfect my equipment; crb, water claw, wand, hoses, vacuum.
Also pumping out bloody waste, not sure if that’s an issue either.
 

Mama Fen

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Well thank you for the kind words.

I guess I could find a tyvek suit, mask, gloves at Home Depot and be reasonably confident blood won’t infect me personally.

I’m really wondering the best way to disinfect my equipment; crb, water claw, wand, hoses, vacuum.
Also pumping out bloody waste, not sure if that’s an issue either.
For a job like this, you can disinfect your equipment with a commercially-available antimicrobial - many have directions on their labels for just such a use. I'd recommend Benefect Decon 30 or another thymol-based agent which carries very low toxicity concerns. (It's also labeled for use on soft surfaces like carpet, which comes in quite handy!)

Dumping may be an issue, but if you look at your local hazardous waste/medical waste laws you should be able to find out good sources. OSHA has specific published regulations on how blood-containing discharges must be handled. Some states allow a limited amount of waste dumping IF the waste has been treated with proper antimicrobial first (check your local and state laws for this info). Labs, research facilities, and hospitals in your area will also be an excellent source of info for this.

Limit the amount of equipment you contaminate by planning your approach ahead of time, and you'll be fine. Price the job accordingly and you could find that this sort of work can not only be profitable, but personally gratifying.
 
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wandwizard

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After reading all of this I guess I'm lucky to still be alive! I've only done 2 of what I'd have to call major blood issues in the past. I knew nothing of protective gear back then either or how to approach it. Thinking back on them I would've refused them both today. One was an elderly lady who had a burst varicose vein and bled a pool of blood in her bedroom. I cleaned it up fine, but the blood had heavily saturated the pad. After a few days, it began to stink like a dead body. Another was where a stepson shot his father in the head. He bled a huge pool in the center of the room. The widow literally begged me to save the carpet and like an idiot, I caved in and did it. Although I successfully got the blood out I realized later how foolish I was to even attempt it! I still remember how blood red my wastewater was coming out. I still do small droplet type stains very rarely, but I won't touch anything like the above ever again. I have a strong stomach after being in the Navy Hospital Corps, but trauma cleanup just ain't for me.
 

Mama Fen

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After reading all of this I guess I'm lucky to still be alive! I've only done 2 of what I'd have to call major blood issues in the past. I knew nothing of protective gear back then either or how to approach it. Thinking back on them I would've refused them both today. One was an elderly lady who had a burst varicose vein and bled a pool of blood in her bedroom. I cleaned it up fine, but the blood had heavily saturated the pad. After a few days, it began to stink like a dead body. Another was where a stepson shot his father in the head. He bled a huge pool in the center of the room. The widow literally begged me to save the carpet and like an idiot, I caved in and did it. Although I successfully got the blood out I realized later how foolish I was to even attempt it! I still remember how blood red my wastewater was coming out. I still do small droplet type stains very rarely, but I won't touch anything like the above ever again. I have a strong stomach after being in the Navy Hospital Corps, but trauma cleanup just ain't for me.
Randy, a LOT of guys with strong stomachs wind up "giving up" in the trauma field. It hasn't anything to do with the ability to deal with gross stuff; I tend to think it has to do with the level of empathy found in most cleaning pros. They simply burn out after doing too many of these (or in some cases, just one in particular that pushes them over the edge).

When I worked as a retail drone many eons ago, one of my fellow managers was also an EMT.

He'd seen it all and loved to regale us with the grossest, most bizarre details he could describe.

One day he got called to a small plane crash, and upon arrival they found the pilot had been trapped in his seat and his remains had been badly burned.

When they were moving the body onto a stretcher, a large portion of skin complete with subcutaneous fat slid off the pilot's arm and plopped to the ground, exposing the underlying tissue. He said the sight and smell of the body was so much like that of a roasted slab of BBQ pork, it made his stomach rumble... and he immediately vomited when his brain realized that his nose was mistaking a human corpse for food.

He turned in his notice that afternoon.
 
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For a job like this, you can disinfect your equipment with a commercially-available antimicrobial - many have directions on their labels for just such a use. I'd recommend Benefect Decon 30 or another thymol-based agent which carries very low toxicity concerns. (It's also labeled for use on soft surfaces like carpet, which comes in quite handy!)

Dumping may be an issue, but if you look at your local hazardous waste/medical waste laws you should be able to find out good sources. OSHA has specific published regulations on how blood-containing discharges must be handled. Some states allow a limited amount of waste dumping IF the waste has been treated with proper antimicrobial first (check your local and state laws for this info). Labs, research facilities, and hospitals in your area will also be an excellent source of info for this.

Limit the amount of equipment you contaminate by planning your approach ahead of time, and you'll be fine. Price the job accordingly and you could find that this sort of work can not only be profitable, but personally gratifying.
Benefact Decon 30 seems to be available only via delivery in a few days. Internet searches haven't shown any antimicrobial disinfectants on the shelves at Lowes / Home Depot.

Im sorry if I am overthinking it but if I do the job tomorrow is there another way (product) to disinfect my equipment?

For example, submerge the water claw (assuming I use it) in a bucket diluted with bleach maybe?

And, to be honest, I am not sure how to sufficiently clean vacuum hose if it were to suck up a significant amount of blood. Would one just suck up come disinfectant like Decon 30 or maybe some bleach mixture? Maybe soak a rag/towel in disinfectant and suck it through the hose? Any way to know if it thoroughly cleaned all sides of the hose?

I see I am asking many questions and I am grateful for your (everyone's) responses.

Also I do have a 3m respirator with the pink (verified OV) filters that screw in. After a 'small' blood job would these need to go in the trash along with the tyvek suit as well?

I feel like I might be taking a $ loss on this job tomorrow in the name of experience if I am just throwing everything away. For example, my respirator mask (not the pink filter attachments) I suppose I could take off afterwards and put into a garbage bag and disinfectant with Decon 30 (that I won't have tomorrow) or maybe our diluted bleach solution I keep mentioning (because that I have) before going into the garbage bag or the normal bag for the ride home? Id hate to do everything right at the job then drive home with a van full of potentially infected equipment :(

Geez..thank you again for making it this far with me! Im starting to wear myself out planning for tomorrows job lol.
 

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Randy, a LOT of guys with strong stomachs wind up "giving up" in the trauma field. It hasn't anything to do with the ability to deal with gross stuff; I tend to think it has to do with the level of empathy found in most cleaning pros. They simply burn out after doing too many of these (or in some cases, just one in particular that pushes them over the edge).

When I worked as a retail drone many eons ago, one of my fellow managers was also an EMT.

He'd seen it all and loved to regale us with the grossest, most bizarre details he could describe.

One day he got called to a small plane crash, and upon arrival they found the pilot had been trapped in his seat and his remains had been badly burned.

When they were moving the body onto a stretcher, a large portion of skin complete with subcutaneous fat slid off the pilot's arm and plopped to the ground, exposing the underlying tissue. He said the sight and smell of the body was so much like that of a roasted slab of BBQ pork, it made his stomach rumble... and he immediately vomited when his brain realized that his nose was mistaking a human corpse for food.

He turned in his notice that afternoon.
OK, WOW, lots of detail there. Maybe too much.
 

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After reading all of this I guess I'm lucky to still be alive! I've only done 2 of what I'd have to call major blood issues in the past. I knew nothing of protective gear back then either or how to approach it. Thinking back on them I would've refused them both today. One was an elderly lady who had a burst varicose vein and bled a pool of blood in her bedroom. I cleaned it up fine, but the blood had heavily saturated the pad. After a few days, it began to stink like a dead body. Another was where a stepson shot his father in the head. He bled a huge pool in the center of the room. The widow literally begged me to save the carpet and like an idiot, I caved in and did it. Although I successfully got the blood out I realized later how foolish I was to even attempt it! I still remember how blood red my wastewater was coming out. I still do small droplet type stains very rarely, but I won't touch anything like the above ever again. I have a strong stomach after being in the Navy Hospital Corps, but trauma cleanup just ain't for me.
Wow, pretty crazy.

Your first elderly lady sounds remotely close to what I could be walking into tomorrow. The cat scratched her leg, she is 94 and on blood thinners and the blood starting shooting out she said. Apparently the daughter used the rug doctor to get most of it out but they think a professional with more suction is needed to get the rest out.

I think she said its like a 36" area where the blood was.
 

Scott W

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There are a number of good disinfectants for this situation. If you are in Mama Fen's area, stop in her store. I am sure she will have something in stock. Also available at any Interlink Supply location.

I would not advise bleach nor anything from the big box stores.
 

Mama Fen

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Wow, pretty crazy.

Your first elderly lady sounds remotely close to what I could be walking into tomorrow. The cat scratched her leg, she is 94 and on blood thinners and the blood starting shooting out she said. Apparently the daughter used the rug doctor to get most of it out but they think a professional with more suction is needed to get the rest out.

I think she said its like a 36" area where the blood was.
Your bleach solution may damage components of your equipment if used incorrectly (not to mention the gasses it can emit when in contact with some sheet metals). I'd stick with a labeled antimicrobial, whatever may be available in your immediate area. A good local distributor will be able to point you toward the proper thing to use. If you have to put the job off until you have the proper tools, it's worth waiting for to prevent trouble down the road.

Thymol is become the most popular antimicrobial in our area due to its "friendly" profile. Peroxides are excellent in mold jobs, but their use in gross contaminantion is limited because they 'exhaust' quickly and can cause bleaching. Quats are effective but carry toxicity concerns. Phenolics are even better than quats for blood cleanup due to their detergency, but are a known carcinogen and MUST be treated with caution. At the end of this post there's a link to various sorts of disinfectants registered by the EPA, as well as their uses and limitations. Learn to love it.

Since blood is so dense, and therefore heavy, you may find that the padding is much more saturated than the tops of the fibers would indicate. Plan accordingly and be prepared to do a LOT of flushing of the spots.

The red in blood comes mostly from hemoglobin, which binds iron. What does iron do when it's exposed to air and moisture...? It rusts. So iron oxide from a blood spill will usually respond very well to a standard rust removal chemical.

Also helpful is a 5-10% peroxide spotter like Stain Zone, Stain One, or StainFree. These will not only help to lighten the red color, they will act as deodorizers and (to an extent) disinfectants. DO NOT depend on them for disinfection, however, as noted above.

Respirators can be sanitized after jobs easily, usually with a "bucket soak". The P100s are cheap and can be thrown out with the suit and gloves.

You're finding out quickly why a truly professional bio job is expensive. But hey - when you're a pro who's willing to do what the others cannot or will not do, and do it correctly, the rewards are yours for the taking. If you find yourself enjoying the process of cleaning what no one else can clean, a trauma course will teach you a great deal. I highly recommend it.

EPA Disinfectant Chart
 
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wandwizard

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Wow, pretty crazy.

Your first elderly lady sounds remotely close to what I could be walking into tomorrow. The cat scratched her leg, she is 94 and on blood thinners and the blood starting shooting out she said. Apparently the daughter used the rug doctor to get most of it out but they think a professional with more suction is needed to get the rest out.

I think she said its like a 36" area where the blood was.
Just my opinion here, but in some situations, it is more feasible to cut the affected area out and dispose of safely than to attempt to clean it out. Even then you should wear protective gear. That's what I should've done in both the above cases. That carpet can be either patched or replaced. When blood has saturated heavily into the carpet and pad my opinion is it should not even be attempted to clean it. It needs to be cut out and removed from the home. You really have no idea just how dense blood is until you try to rinse out a large amount of it. It is INCREDIBLY DENSE and extremely difficult to rinse out no matter what kind of machine you're using. The homeowner didn't know what they were doing and shouldn't have even attempted to use a rental machine for this, but then a lot of carpet cleaners really don't know what they're doing in this type of situation either. The pad could be saturated with blood.

In the Navy, I did lab work for a while. I got to see germs under a microscope and did cultures to determine the type of bacteria so the proper medicine could be given for a specific infection. It definitely made me more aware of what's around us and in us. When I did those 2 blood situations it was way back in the early 90's and there was really no readily available information on how to deal with it. Honestly, I should've known just how dangerous it can be from what I was taught and saw first hand in the Navy.
 
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