The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) created Standard Precautions to help prevent the spread of infection during patient care. Standard Precautions incorporate infection control practices that help protect the patient as well as the healthcare worker. The precautions operate on the assumption that every person is potentially infected with an organism that can be transmitted in the healthcare setting. All blood, body fluids, secretions, excretions (except sweat), nonintact skin, and mucous membranes may contain infectious agents that can be given to others. Healthcare personnel should follow Standard Precautions while delivering healthcare to patients.
Personal Protective Equipment includes disposable gowns, gloves, eye, and face protection.
Use a mouthpiece, resuscitation bag, or other ventilation devices to prevent contact with mouth or oral secretions.
Precautions should be taken to prevent spread of infection from equipment that has been contaminated. Examples include:
Try to put patients who may transmit infections to others in a single room. This may be any patient who is likely to contaminate the environment or does not maintain hygiene. It may also be patients at risk for acquiring or developing adverse outcomes following infection.
In addition to patients and healthcare workers, this element is also aimed at family members and friends with undiagnosed transmissible respiratory infections. People entering a health facility with signs of illness including cough, congestion, rhinorrhea, or increased production of respiratory secretions should take special precautions. Offices and hospitals should have posted signs with instructions for patients and visitors to:
National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Public Health Canada
2007 Guideline for Isolation Precautions: Preventing Transmission of Infectious Agents in Healthcare Settings. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. Available at: http://www.cdc.gov/hicpac/2007IP/2007isolationPrecautions.html. Updated December 9, 2010. Accessed October 24, 2016.
Overview. 2007 Guideline for Isolation Precautions: Preventing Transmission of Infectious Agents in Healthcare Settings. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. Available at: http://www.cdc.gov/hicpac/2007IP/2007ip_part4.html. Updated October 25, 2011. Accessed October 24, 2016.
Recommendations For Application Of Standard Precautions For The Care Of All Patients In All Healthcare Settings. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. Available at: http://www.cdc.gov/hicpac/2007ip/2007ip_table4.html. Updated December 29, 2009. Accessed October 24, 2016.
Last reviewed October 2016 by Michael Woods, MD Last Updated: 12/31/2014