Case 7: airbag deployment blood spill
To begin the project, the outside of the car must be disinfected after the application of personal protective equipment. Once the outside of the car has been treated with the primary disinfectant (Shockwave), the technician then opened the door and begin applying disinfectant throughout the interior. The cause of the blood spill was an airbag deployment.
The airbag injured the driver significantly and once the driver was removed from the car the blood spread from the interior down the exterior of the car on the driver side doors.
Carpet found in a home is best cut from the underside with a razor. Pushing a razor blade through the woven fabric underneath provides a more consistent surface for the blade opposed to the long carpet fiber on the top side. The carpet most often applied in automobiles is thinner and it is easier to cut an opening with a razor blade and then use high-quality scissors.
The biological contamination was concentrated in the front of the driver’s side exterior, interior, recesses in the driver’s door controls, the driver’s seat, carpet, and collection in between the console and driver’s seat. The exterior seals on the door were intact and the blood collected along the window seals on the driver’s side.
The blood-affected material extends to portions of the car from the incident and exit from the vehicle. The entire driver’s side exterior had to be disinfected and the blood removed before any work could begin in the car. The blood-affected airbag and the biological material recovered from the interior of the vehicle was disposed of in accordance with OSHA Standard 1910.1030.
The blood was recovered from the non-porous surfaces with disinfectant solution and cloth rags and discarded as medical waste. Cotton swabs were used to recover blood and disinfect sensitive areas such as electronics controls. The airbag was cut from the steering wheel with a razor knife and discarded as medical waste. All interior surfaces were disinfected.
The regulated waste (2 boxes) was recovered from the surfaces and recesses with absorbent material with disinfectant solution in order to restore the use of the vehicle in a biologically safe manner and the regulated waste will be disposed of in accordance with the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) and a TCEQ waste manifest is on file for support.
Over 20 biological tech man hours were employed (various levels of risk) along with consumption of over 12 quarts of disinfectant, 3 quarts of enzymes, and over 4 sets of personal protective equipment in compliance with OSHA medical and confined space requirements.
The technicians have been instructed of the hazards associated with the chemicals used, Enzymes MSDS, to comply with OSHA Standard 1910.1200 Hazard Communication. The uneven surfaces of the interior were treated with disinfectant solution (light spray), cloth rags, q-tips, and scrub sponges. The cloth areas were treated with enzymes to remove the blood stains. These stains were not saturations which then would have been removed.
To neutralize any residual odor, the entire car was treated with an atomizing fog of Get The Odor Out. This product is an EPA listed light-duty bactericide used to restore biological hygiene and is very useful when fogging air vents in the dash and hard to reach areas. To salvage the interior (opposed to cutting out affected fabric and material) 4 layers of enzyme treatment were employed to break down the biological material and remove it through absorbent material.
A hospital grade disinfectant was used throughout the vehicle.
In summary, the violence associated with the opening of an airbag caused blood loss resulting in droplets deposited across a diversity of surfaces. These surfaces were disinfected and the
biological material was removed. The vents in the dash were treated with fog as quality control should any blood particulate have deposited in them.