Standard Precautions are the protective measures we routinely use to prevent spread of pathogens. Standard precautions are used with all patients and require anticipation of the type of contact and the potential for exposure to pathogens. All secretions and excretions are considered to contain infectious agents, except sweat.
Standard precautions protect both the staff member and patient, because the barriers prevent transmission of pathogens in both directions.
Standard precautions must be used for EVERY PATIENT, and EVERY ENCOUNTER to be effective.
Standard precautions require hand hygiene at all times, and the appropriate use of gloves, fluid-resistant gowns and face and eye protection, depending on the nature of the interaction with the patient. Gloves gowns and masks are known as personal protective equipment (PPE).
GLOVES: Wear gloves when contact with secretions (other than sweat), excretions, mucous membranes and non intact skin is anticipated
GOWN: Wear fluid-resistant gown when splashes or contact with body fluids that could contaminate uniforms is anticipated. Examples are performing surgery, bathing a patient, dressing an extensive wound
FACE and EYE PROTECTION: Use face masks and eye protection when splashes to the eyes or mucous membranes of nose and mouth are anticipated. Examples are surgical operations, extensive wound dressings
Transmission Based Precautions are used in addition to Standard Precautions for diseases of epidemiologic importance, or diseases with known modes of transmission. Patients on transmission based precautions have signs on their doors and/or charts that indicate the type of protection needed. Follow the directions on the signs and be sure to comply. Transmission based precautions include
AFB Isolation (for tuberculosis, SARS and other emerging pathogens). Patients are housed in specially ventilated rooms which have high air flow and negative air pressure relative to the corridor. Wear a respirator mask whenever you are in an AFB isolation room. YOU MUST BE FIT-TESTED for the RESPIRATOR mask—this will be done during orientation. Dedicate equipment for use with this patient only. Disinfect reusable items (stethoscope).
Airborne Precautions (for varicella, measles, disseminated zoster, or zoster in an immunocompromised patient). Same type room as above, surgical type mask must be worn by all who enter room. Dedicate equipment for use with this patient only. Disinfect reusable items (stethoscope). Remove and discard mask immediately before leaving room.
Droplet Precautions (for influenza, pertussis, bacterial meningitis and pediatric viral respiratory illnesses). A private room is used but the room
March 17, 2009