Infection Prevention Policy




A standard precautions system emphasizes direct and indirect contact transmission of infectious agents in moist body substances via the hands of personnel. Standard Precautions include a combination of handwashing, the appropriate use of protective barriers and the careful and proper disposal of sharps without unnecessary manipulations.

Formerly, Blood/Body Fluid Precautions were applied to clients identified as belonging to a "high risk group." Identifying individuals who have unrecognized infections or who engage in "high risk" activities is impossible. "Standard Blood/Body Fluid Precautions" are used in the care of all clients, especially those in emergency care settings in which the risk of blood exposure is increased, and the infectious status of the client is usually unknown.



Barrier Precautions:

  • Gloves are worn in the following circumstances:
    • Touching human blood and other moist body fluids, mucous membrane, or non-intact skin of all persons.
    • Handling items or surfaces soiled with blood or body fluids.
    • Performing venipuncture and other vascular access procedures.
    • Gloves are changed and hands washed after each human contact.
  • Masks and protective eyewear or face shields are worn:
    • During procedures likely to generate droplets of blood or other body fluids to protect mucous membranes of the eyes, nose and mouth from the risk of exposure.
  • Gowns or aprons are worn:
    • During procedures that are likely to generate splashes of blood or other body fluids.

Barrier precautions do not take the place of handwashing, therefore, handwashing is carried out according to prescribed policy and in addition:

  • Immediately and thoroughly if contaminated with blood or other body fluids.
  • Immediately after gloves are removed.

Disposal of sharps

(needles, scalpels, vials, etc.) according to policy to prevent injury:

  • Needles are not:
    • recapped, purposely bent or broken by hand, removed from disposable syringes or otherwise contaminated by hand.
  • After use, disposable needles, syringes, scalpel blades and other sharp items are placed in a puncture resistant container for disposal.
  • Sharps disposal units are located in laboratory classrooms and as close as possible to the work unit in the clinical facility.

Oral Secretions:

(has not been associated with HIV transmission):

  • Routine suctioning does not require the use of a mask or eye coverings. However, if aerosolization is likely to occur: masks, goggles, or face shields will be used.
  • CPR - To date no HIV transmission has been reported:
  • Disposable resuscitation masks are located in all client care areas and are suggested to prevent transmission of TB, meningitis, herpes and Hepatitis B. (If blood exposure occurs when a mask was not used, the student should consider this a mucous membrane exposure and seek follow-up according to policy).
  • CPR mannequins should be cleaned with 70% alcohol or bleach (1:10 dilution).


weeping dermatitis or exudative lesions:

  • Students should refrain from all direct client care or handling client care equipment until the condition resolves. (See Handbook)
  • Exceptions may be made if gloves can be worn comfortably.


  • Pregnant students are at no greater risk of HIV infection than other students.
  • Because of potential risk to the infant, pregnant students should be especially familiar with and strictly adhere to precautions.


  • Students are required to follow Standard Precautions and agencies protocol and policies for specific situations.


Maternal and Child Health:

  • General precautions as mentioned earlier and specific precautions noted under "Precautions for Invasive Procedures."
  • Precautions are observed for both mother and infant pre and post-delivery, including cord care, newborns' first bath and management of blood dressings and pads.
  • Separation of mother and newborn is not necessary. Rooming in is acceptable.
  • Diapers may be changed without using gloves, unless there is a gross soiling, if there are not openings in the skin on hands of health care workers. Handwashing is practiced after each diaper change.