What are Standard Precautions?
Standard Precautions are a set of infection control practices that healthcare personnel use to reduce transmission of microorganisms in healthcare settings.
Standard Precautions protect both healthcare personnel and patients from contact with infectious agents.
Standard Precautions include:
- Hand hygiene (hand-washing with soap and water or use of an alcohol-based hand sanitizer) before and after patient contact and after contact with the immediate patient care environment.
- Personal protective equipment (PPE) when exposure to blood, body fluids, excretions, secretions (except sweat), mucous membranes, or non-intact skin is anticipated. PPE includes:
- Gloves – when hand contamination is anticipated.
- Masks and eye protection – when splashes may occur.
- Gowns – when soiling of clothes may occur.
When should I use Standard Precautions?
- Standard Precautions should be used by healthcare personnel caring for patients regardless of the patient’s diagnosis and whether or not the patient is known to have a communicable infection. In other words, Standard Precautions should be used for all patients, all the time.
Why is Hand Hygiene Important?
- Infections are a serious problem in healthcare facilities.
- Every year, an estimated 2 million patients get a hospital-related infection.
- 90,000 die from their infection.
- Many infections are transmitted on the hands of healthcare personnel.
- Hand hygiene is part of Standard Precautions. It can reduce the transmission of healthcare-associated infections – to your patients and to you.
Do you use Hand Hygiene when you should?
- Healthcare personnel practice hand hygiene about half the time they should. Hand hygiene is often not practiced:
- Immediately before touching a patient, performing an invasive procedure, or manipulating an invasive device
- Immediately after touching a patient, contaminated items or surfaces, or removing gloves
- After removing gloves
- After touching items or surfaces in the immediate patient care environment, even if you didn’t touch the patient while you were there
HOW DO I PRACTICE HAND HYGIENE CORRECTLY?
HAND RUB (foam and gel)
- Apply to palm of one hand (the amount used depends on specific hand rub product).
- Rub hands together, covering all surfaces, focusing in particular on the fingertips and fingernails, until dry. Use enough rub to dry.
- Wet hands with water.
- Apply soap.
- Rub hands together for at least 20 seconds, covering all surfaces, focusing on fingertips and fingernails.
- Rinse under running water and dry with disposable towel.
- Use the towel to turn off the faucet.