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Safety when you’re taking a potential or reproductive hazard medicine

Handling body fluids and waste

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Body fluids and waste include:

  • urine (pee)
  • stool (poop)
  • blood
  • vomit (throw up)
  • saliva (spit)
  • sweat

How does a caregiver handle my body fluids and waste safely?

While you are taking a potential or reproductive hazard medicine, some of the chemicals in the medicine may leave your body through your body fluids and waste. Contact with these fluids may harm other people or pets.

Caregivers should:​

  • Try not to touch body fluids and waste.
  • ​Wear disposable gloves when caring for a person who can't control their bladder or bowels.
  • Wash their hands with soap and water before putting on the disposable gloves and after taking off the disposable gloves.

If you have a urinary catheter or an ostomy, caregivers should follow any other care instructions from your healthcare provider.

What if I can't control my bladder or bowels, wear diapers or pads, or throw up?

Use plastic-backed sheets or disposable plastic-backed pads on your mattress or furniture, even if you wear a diaper or pad.

Change diapers or pads right away. Your skin should be cleaned with soap and water and dried well. Throw out all disposable items with the regular garbage. Follow the information in the Alberta Health Services Community Based Services (Home Care) Waste Disposal brochure.

Try to throw up directly into the toilet. Close the toilet lid and flush, then wash your hands with soap and water.

To clean items like bedpans, urinals, or commodes, or non-disposable buckets from vomit, do the following:

  1. Wash your hands with soap and water. Caregivers should also put on disposable gloves.
  2. Carefully empty the waste into the toilet, close the lid and flush.
  3. Wash the item with soap and water. Do this after each use and at least once per day.
  4. After washing the item, pour the soap and water cleaning solution in the toilet. Then rinse the item with water and pour the rinse water in the toilet. Close the toilet lid and flush.
  5. Dry the item with a paper towel.
  6. Throw the paper towel and disposable gloves into a double bag and throw them out in the regular garbage (see Throwing out medicine, used supplies, and garbage).
  7. Wash your hands with soap and water.​​

Current as of: June 24, 2022

Author: Provincial Hazardous Medication Committee, Alberta Health Services