Standard Precautions represent the minimum infection prevention measures that apply to all patient care, regardless of suspected or confirmed infection status of the patient, in any setting where healthcare is delivered. These evidence-based practices are designed to both protect healthcare personnel and prevent the spread of infections among patients. Standard Precautions replaces earlier guidance relating to Universal Precautions and Body Substance Isolation. Standard Precautions include: 1) hand hygiene, 2) use of personal protective equipment (e.g., gloves, gowns, facemasks), depending on the anticipated exposure, 3) respiratory hygiene and cough etiquette, 4) safe injection practices, and 5) safe handling of potentially contaminated equipment or surfaces in the patient environment.
Transmission-Based Precautions are intended to supplement Standard Precautions in patients with known or suspected colonization or infection of highly transmissible or epidemiologically important pathogens. These additional precautions are used when the route of transmission is not completely interrupted using Standard Precautions. The three categories of Transmission-Based Precautions include: 1) Contact Precautions, 2) Droplet Precautions, and 3) Airborne Precautions. For diseases that have multiple routes of transmission, a combination of Transmission-Based Precautions may be used. Whether used singly or in combination, they are always used in addition to Standard Precautions.
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