Managing Open Wounds and Blood Spills

​Purpose of this policy

To ensure schools respond safely to:

  • students with open wounds
  • blood spills.


Teachers, staff and principals must be familiar with the school’s first aid procedures related to blood spills and bleeding students.

Treating bleeding students

This table describes how schools treat students who are bleeding.

​Step ​Action
​1 Avoid contact with the blood while: comforting the student moving them to safety if required.​
2 Put on single-use gloves.​
3​ Flush the wound using warm water.​
4 Wash the wound using warm water and soap.​

Pat dry the wound and apply a waterproof occlusive dressing ensuring the wound is:

  • covered completely  
  • and if bleeding continues, apply additional pressure using either a hand or firm bandage.
6​ Remove any linen stained with blood or body fluids and substances. Place them in leak-proof plastic bags until they can be cleaned by a commercial laundry or linen cleaning service, or dispose of. ​
7​ Remove gloves and place them in an appropriate biohazard container. ​
8 Wash hands in warm soapy water and rinse before pat-drying thoroughly.  ​

Managing blood spills

Blood spills should be treated as if the blood is potentially infectious.

This table describes how schools must manage blood spills. Note: all cuts and abrasions should be covered with a waterproof occlusive dressing at all times.

See: Infectious Diseases within Related policies

Step    Action
1 Put on single-use gloves and avoid direct contact with blood or other body fluids.
2 Use paper towels to mop up the spill. Dispose of the paper towels in an appropriate biohazard container.
3 Wash the area with warm water and detergent, then rinse and dry the area. Note: Take care not to splash.
4 Remove gloves and place them in an appropriate biohazard container, which should be a part of the school first aid kit.
5 Wash hands in warm soapy water and rinse thoroughly before pat-drying.

If re-usable items were used such as scissors or single-use tweezers, then an assessment must take place to consider how the item was used and determine the appropriate decontamination method. Example: If re-usable items are contaminated with blood of other body substances, they should be disposed of in a sharps of biohazard container. If they are not contaminated, they should be washed and dried. Single use items should be disposed of appropriately and replaced. For further advice contact the Department’s OHS Advisory Service on 1300 074 715.

Related policies

Related legislation

  • Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004
  • Victorian WorkCover Authority Code of Practice - First Aid in the Workplace 1995