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Introduction to Standard Precautions

Introduction

Date of Last Review 10/18/10

Date of Last Review 10/31/11

Date of Last Review 01/25/13
SME:
Infection Control Manager

Implementation of standard precautions is the primary strategy for successful nosocomial infection control.

Levels of precautions

This table explains two levels of precautions:

Note: This topic provides further information about standard precautions only.

Precautions

Designed for the care of...

Standard

All patients in hospitals, regardless of their diagnosis or presumed infection status

Blood

All body fluids, secretions, and excretions, regardless of whether or not they contain visible blood
Exception
: Sweat

Non-intact skin

Mucous membranes

Transmission-based

Patients known or suspected to be infected by epidemiologically important pathogens spread by:

Airborne or droplet transmission

Contact with dry skin or contaminated surfaces

Terminology

The term standard precautions replaces the term universal blood and body fluid precautions.

Policy

Hospital staff must consistently use standard precautions when they anticipate contact with the blood or other body fluids of any patient.

Responsibilities

Each unit or department manager is responsible for:

Identifying procedures and activities requiring personnel to use protective eye-wear, gowns, masks, and gloves

Ensuring that his/her employees follow appropriate standard precautions.

Education

This table lists how UTHCPC educates each employee about the importance of using standard precautions:

Type of Education

Description

New employee orientation

Stresses the need for routine use of standard precautions with all patients according to UTHCPC procedures

Includes instruction on the following topics:

Blood-borne pathogens

Modes of transmission

Prevention and control measures

Health habit formation

Continuing education

Reinforces the use of standard precautions

Introduces the most recent infectious disease control guidelines

Training

Provides training in technical skills or procedures necessary to ensure the most effective use of standard precautions

Organized by the Nursing Department content experts and Infection Control on a regular or as needed basis

References

Each unit maintains a copy of the CDC Recommendations for Prevention of HIV Transmission in Health Care Settings.

Related standards

The Joint Commission : Surveillance, Prevention, and Control of Infection

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Harris County Psychiatric Center University of Texas Health Science Center