What are standard precautions?
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Standard precautions are infection control practices. They are in place to prevent the spread of disease through contact with blood, body fluids, mucous membranes, and skin that is not intact. Standard precautions assume that everyone may have a disease that can be transmitted, even if they appear to be very healthy.
Standard precautions can be followed by hand washing, both before and after seeing a patient. It also includes the use of personal protective equipment (PPE) such as gowns and masks, when necessary. Proper care must be taken when handling needles or other contaminated sharps as well.
I am assuming you are referring to medical standard precautions. Standard precautions in the medical field are precautions to prevent the spread of communicable disease in hospitals and microorganisms among patients, personnel and visitors. These techniques evolved to prevent cross-contamination of infection between individuals.
I went to school to work on an ambulance. We were taught Body Substance Isolation (BSI) skills. Body substance isolation referred to the ways we were to protect ourselves from bodily fluids. Hand washing was emphasized as was the use of gloves. Eye wear is another concept that was discussed. Blood has a tendency to spray. Eye wear protects people from contamination. We were also taught the need to wear protective gowns and masks. All doctors and nurses follow these general precautions. In the end, the procedures help prevent cross contamination, but they are not fool proof.
Standard Precautions are a set of precautionary principles to be followed by the heath-care workers in particular and the members of public in general to protect themselves against communicable diseases, when potentially coming into contact with any patient's blood or body fluids or when there is a risk of being exposed to a wide variety of micro-organisms.
These universally recommended precautions include:
* hand hygiene--to wear gloves and to wash hands
* to wear protective clothing like aprons and gowns
* to wear masks to prvent infection throgh mouth and nasal
* to protect the eyes as and when required
* to avoid using sharps
* to cover wounds or skin lesions with waterproof washings
* safe disposal of contaminated waste
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