The original version of this safety tip first appeared on PoliceOne.com.
Daily hand contact with unknown persons may put you and your family at risk.
I responded to a call concerning a person urinating in public and sleeping on the grass. An unknown white male lay face down. I approached him and saw he was breathing. I also noticed he had several sores on his left arm. When I called to him, he responded, but he was combative. I called for backup and put my medical gloves on.
When my backup arrived, the man attempted to leave. We had to take him to the ground and cuff him. His left arm had started to bleed from his sores. I requested medical. Before he was transported to the hospital, I removed the handcuffs, which were covered in blood. I took precautions to make sure none of the blood went on my person, and I cleaned the handcuffs. My medical gloves protected my hands.
My partner and I were contacted later and advised the suspect had Hepatitis A, B and C. Thanks to my training, I did not expose myself or my family to this medical nightmare.
Regardless whom you make contact with, if there's a chance you will place your hands on that person, please wear gloves.