1. All blood should be considered potentially infectious. To reduce the risk of disease transmission, prevention of bloody injuries requires the use of appropriate safety and protective equipment. It is recommended all participants (including the official(s)) have their Hepatitis B immunization up-to-date. It is also recommended athletes minimize sharing of soiled equipment and that anyone assisting with a bloody injury take the necessary precautions to protect themselves:
- cover any open sores or wounds before dealing with bloody injuries
- wash your hands before and after proper wound care
- always wear gloves (avoid direct contact with bloody injuries)
2. Dealing with a Bloody Wound
i. If bleeding occurs where other participants, (including the official(s) of the game) may be exposed to blood, the individual’s participation must be interrupted until the bleeding has stopped. The amount of time taken to treat the wound should be left to the umpire. The player may have to leave the game, and have a substitute take the place of the injured athlete until the bleeding stops. The wound must both be cleansed with antiseptic and securely covered before the athlete can return to the game. If no substitute is available, and a reasonable amount of time has been given for the injured athlete to be treated and meet the requirements to return to the game, the game is considered a forfeiture.
ii. All clothing soiled with blood must be replaced prior to the athlete resuming training or competition. If any part of the uniform is soiled with blood, have the athlete exchange it regardless whether it may be jersey, undershirt, or pants (shorts). Note that there will be no violation for wearing a replacement uniform of a different team colour, or number. Clothing soiled with blood or other body fluids must be washed in hot, soapy water.
iii. All equipment and surfaces (especially note softballs) contaminated with blood and other body fluids should be cleaned with a fresh solution of one part household bleach to nine parts water. This solution should be prepared fresh daily.
iv. While cleaning blood or other body fluid spills, the following must be done:
- wear waterproof gloves
- wipe up fluids with paper towel or disposable cloths
- disinfect the area (use a bleach containing 5.25% sodium hypochlorite, if possible)
- place all soiled waste in a plastic bag for disposal
- remove gloves and wash hands with soap and water.
v. If a player’s blood or other body fluids spill onto someone else, have the affected individual wash the area with soap and water and have them follow up with their own physician as soon as possible (especially if blood comes in contact with the eyes or mucous membranes).
3. Other wounds including abrasions, blisters, and all skin lesions and rashes on athletes, coaches and officials should be reviewed by medical personnel. All wounds, blisters, skin lesions, rashes must be confirmed as non-infectious and be securely covered prior to the athlete starting or continuing participation.
It is also recommended for general prevention that sport participants traveling should confirm the medical precautions and personnel available for each destination. For further information on blood issues contact your doctor, your public health unit or community health center or the Canadian Public Health Association.