Standard precautions are essential components that reduce the risk of the transmission of micro-organisms. They offer protection to both client/patients, staff and their families from developing an infection, as well as preventing the spread of healthcare-associated infection (HCAI), which can occur if standard precautions are not applied. The spread of infection can have significant implications for health and social care settings.
All staff involved in patient care must implement the standard infection control precautions as routine. This will reduce the risk of transmission of infection and contamination of the environment. The use of standard precautions will protect themselves, client/patients and visitors from micro-organisms from recognised and unrecognised sources. It is the responsibility of an employer and individuals within an organisation involved in providing care to be educated about the standard precautions of infection prevention and control. Standard precautions include:
- Hand hygiene
- Personal protective equipment (PPE)
- Safe handling and disposal of sharps
- Safe handling and disposal of linen
- Decontamination of equipment and the environment
- Waste management
- Management of spillages
- Respiratory hygiene
- General asepsis
Further information can also be found in the Standard Precautions for Infection Prevention guidelines, which can be found in the Dudley Formulary.