Two Tiers of Precautions…

There are two tiers of precautions to prevent the spread of communicable or contagious diseases.  The Standard precautions and Transmission-based precautions.

Standard Precautions prevent the spread of infection from blood, all body fluids, secretions, and excretions (except sweat) even if blood is not visible; nonintact skin (skin with open breaks; and mucous membranes.  Practicing standard precautions reduce the the risk of spreading pathogens and known and unknown infections.  Used in the care of all persons.

I.  Handwashing -wash your hands after touching blood, body fluids, secretions, and excretions, and contaminated items.  Wash your hands even if you wore gloves.

                                 – wash your hands immediately after removing gloves and between patient or resident contacts.  Also wash your hands whenever needed to avoid transferring microbes to other persons or environments.

                                – wash your hands between tasks and procedures on the same person.  This prevent cross-contamination of different body sites.

                               – use plain soap for routine handwashing.  (The nurse tells you when other agents are needed.  The nurse also tells you what to use).

II. Gloves – wear gloves when touching blood, body fluids, secretions and excretions and contaminated items.

                     – put on clean gloves just before touching mucous membranes and nonintact skin.

                    – change gloves between tasks and procedures on the same person.  Also change gloves after contacting material that may be contaminated.

                    – remove gloves promptly after use.  Remove gloves before touching uncontaminated items and surfaces.

                   – wash your hands immediately after removing gloves.   This prevents the transfer of microbes to other persons or environments.

III.  Masks, Eye Protection, and Face Shields – wear masks, eye protection, and face shields during procedures and tasks that are likely to cause splashes or sprays of blood, body fluids, secretions and excretions.  It protects the mucous membranes of the mouth, eyes and nose from splashes or sprays.

IV.  Gowns – wear a gown during procedures and care activities that are likely to cause splashes or sprays of blood, body fluids, secretions, or excretions.  The gown protects the skin and prevents soiling of clothing.

                      – removed a soiled gown as promptly as possible.

                     – wash yourhands after gown removal.  T his prevens transferring microbes to other persons or environment.

V.  Care of Equipment – handle used care equipment carefully.  Prevent skin and mucous membrane exposure and clothing contamination.  Also prevent the transfer of microbes to other persons and environment.

                                             – do not use reusable equipment for other person.  The item must be cleaned, disinfected or sterilized.

                                            – discard disposable (single-use) items properly.

VI.  Environment Control – follow agency procedues for the routine care, cleaning, and disinfection of surfaces.  This include environmental surfaces, bed rails, bedside equipment, and other frequently touched surfaces.

VII. Linen – follow agency policy for used linen that is soiled with blood, body fluids, secretions or excretions.  The policy describes how to handle, transport, and process soiled linen.  Prevent skin and mucous membranes exposures and clothing contamination.  Also prevent the transfer of microbes to other persons and environments.

VIII.  Occupational Health and Bloodborne Pathogens – prevent injuries when handling needles, scalpels, and other sharp instrument or devices.

                                                                                                               – prevent injuries when handling sharp instruments after procedures and when cleaning used instruments.

                                                                                                              – never recap used needles.  Do not handle them with both hands.  Do not use any technique that involves directing the needles toward any body part.  Use a one-handed “scoop” technique or a mechanical device that hold the needle sheath.

                                                                                                              – do not removed used needles from disposable syringes by hand.

                                                                                                              – place used disposable syringes and needles, scalpel, blades, and other sharp items in puncture-resistant containers.

                                                                                                              – place reusable syringes and needles in a puncture resistant containers for transport to the reprocessing area.

                                                                                                             – use resuscitation devices for mouth-to-mouth resuscitation.

IX.  Patient or Resident Placement – a private room is used if the person contaminates the environment, does not or cannot assist in maintaining hygiene or enviromental contol.

                                                                       – follow the nurse’s instrunction if a private room is not available.

Transmission Based Precautions depend on how the pathogen is spread.

I.  Airborne precautions – for known or suspected infections involving microbes transmitted by airborne droplets-measles, chickenpox, tuberculosis…

                                                  -standard precautions are followed

                                                 – a private room is preferred

                                                – keep the room door closed and the perso in the room

                                               – wear respiratory protection (tuberculosis respirator) when entering the room of a person with known or suspected tuberculosis.

                                              – do not enter the room of a person with known or suspected measles or chickenpox if you are susceptible to these diseases(Respiratory protection is not needed for persons immune to measles or chickenpox).

                                              – limit moving and transporting the person from the room.  The person wears a mask if moving or transporting from the room is necessary.

II.  Droplet Precautions – for known or suspected infections involving microbes transmitted by droplets produced by coughing, sneezing, talking, or procedures- meningitis, pneumonia, epiglottitis, diphtheria, pertussis(whooping cough), influenza, mumps, rubella, streptococcal pharyngitis, or scarlet fever.

                                                 – standard precautions are followed

                                                 – a private room is preferred

                                                – wear a mask when working within 3 feet of the person (wear a mask on entering the room if required by the agency).

                                               – limit moving and transporting the person from the room.  The person wears a mask if moving or transporting from the room is necessary.

III. Contact Precautions – for known or suspected infections involving microbes transmitted by direct contact with the person (hand or skin-to-skin contact that occurs during care activities); indirect contact (touching surfaces or care items in the person’s room) gastrointestinal, respiratory, skin or wound infections.

                                                 – standard precautions are followed.

                                                – a private room is preferred.

                                               – wear gloves when entering the room.

                                               – change gloves after having contact with infective material that may contain high concentrations of microbes.

                                              – remove gloves before leaving the person’s room.

                                             – wash your hands immediately with an agent specified by the nurse.

                                            – make sure your hands do not touch potentially contaminated surfaces or items after removing gloves and handwashing.

                                           – wear a gown on entering the room if you will have substantial contact with the person, environmental surfaces, or items in the room.

                                          – wear a gown on entering the room if the person is incontinent or has diarrhea, an ileostomy, a colostomy, or wound drainage not contained by a dressing.

                                         – limit moving or transferring the person from the room.  Maintain precautions if the person is moved or transferred from the room.


About the Author: Nicetas Juanillo

Writing makes me happy away from home. My website is where you can find my tips about lifestyle, health and other issues. I also have books on my site that you can read to know more

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