Standard Precautions

Standard precautions are the basic level of infection control that should be used in the care of all patients all of the time.

  • Use standard precautions in the care of all patients to reduce the risk of transmission of microorganisms from both recognized and non-recognized sources of infection.

  • Applies to blood, all body fluids, secretions and excretions (except sweat) whether or not they contain visible blood; non-intact skin; and mucous membranes.

  • Personal protective equipment (PPE) to carry out standard precautions includes:

Standard precautions include:

  • Hand hygiene - always - following any patient contact
    • Wash hands for 20 seconds with soap and warm water – especially if visibly soiled. Clean hands with alcohol-based hand rub if not visibly soiled
  • Gloves
    • Clean, non-sterile gloves when touching or coming into contact with blood, body fluids, secretions or excretions

    • Apply gloves just before touching mucous membranes or contacting blood, body fluids, secretions, or excretions

    • Remove gloves promptly after use and discard before touching non-contaminated items or environmental surfaces, and before providing care to another patient

    • Wash hands immediately after removing gloves
      • Gloves
        More information about gloves.


  • Gowns
    • Fluid resistant, non-sterile

    • Protect soiling of clothing during activities that may generate splashes or sprays of blood, body fluids, secretions and excretions
    • Apply gown prior to performing such activities
      • Gowns
        More information about gowns.


  • Mask, face shield, eye protection
    • Protect eyes, nose, mouth and mucous membranes from exposure to sprays or splashes of blood, body fluids, secretions and excretions

    • Apply appropriate protection prior to performing such activities
  • Patient Care Equipment
      • Avoid contamination of clothing and the transfer of microorganisms to other patients, surfaces and environments

      • Clean, disinfect or reprocess non-disposable equipment before reuse with another patient

      • Discard single-use items properly

see also>>Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for Infection Control

Updated Tuesday, September 25, 2012 at 12:07PM