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Guideline for Isolation Precautions: Preventing Transmission of Infectious Agents in Healthcare Settings (2007)

Appendix A: Table 4. Recommendations for Application of Standard Precautions for the Care of All Patients in All Healthcare Settings

Component Recommendations

Hand hygiene

After touching blood, body fluids, secretions, excretions, contaminated items; immediately after removing gloves; between patient contacts.

Personal protective equipment (PPE)


For touching blood, body fluids, secretions, excretions, contaminated items; for touching mucous membranes and nonintact skin

Personal protective equipment (PPE)


During procedures and patient-care activities when contact of clothing/exposed skin with blood/body fluids, secretions, and excretions is anticipated.

Personal protective equipment (PPE)

Mask, eye protection (goggles), face shield

During procedures and patient-care activities likely to generate splashes or sprays of blood, body fluids, secretions, especially suctioning, endotracheal intubation. During aerosol-generating procedures on patients with suspected or proven infections transmitted by respiratory aerosols wear a fit-tested N95 or higher respirator in addition to gloves, gown and face/eye protection.

Soiled patient-care equipment

Handle in a manner that prevents transfer of microorganisms to others and to the environment; wear gloves if visibly contaminated; perform hand hygiene.

Environmental control

Develop procedures for routine care, cleaning, and disinfection of environmental surfaces, especially frequently touched surfaces in patient-care areas.

Textiles and laundry

Handle in a manner that prevents transfer of microorganisms to others and to the environment

Needles and other sharps

Do not recap, bend, break, or hand-manipulate used needles; if recapping is required, use a one-handed scoop technique only; use safety features when available; place used sharps in puncture-resistant container

Patient resuscitation

Use mouthpiece, resuscitation bag, other ventilation devices to prevent contact with mouth and oral secretions

Patient placement

Prioritize for single-patient room if patient is at increased risk of transmission, is likely to contaminate the environment, does not maintain appropriate hygiene, or is at increased risk of acquiring infection or developing adverse outcome following infection.

Respiratory hygiene/cough etiquette (source containment of infectious respiratory secretions in symptomatic patients, beginning at initial point of encounter e.g., triage and reception areas in emergency departments and physician offices)

Instruct symptomatic persons to cover mouth/nose when sneezing/coughing; use tissues and dispose in no-touch receptacle; observe hand hygiene after soiling of hands with respiratory secretions; wear surgical mask if tolerated or maintain spatial separation, >3 feet if possible.

(See Sections II.D.-II.J. and III.A.1)

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