Standard infection prevention and control

Effective infection prevention and control reduces the risk of infection for patients, clients and residents as well as health and care workers. Identifying people who may spread infection is not always straightforward and precautions for the care and treatment of all residents are recommended. Basic infection prevention and control practices, will reduce the risk of cross infection and should be applied at all times by all health and care workers.

Hand hygiene

Perform correct hand hygiene before and after patient, client or resident contact. Good hand hygiene is one of the most effective ways to minimise the risk of infection. Using an effective antimicrobial, alcohol hand-rub is a useful preventative measure. However they should be used appropriately and should not be used on hands that are visibly dirty, contaminated or soiled (e.g. faeces, secretions), or during outbreaks of diarrhoeal illness (e.g. norovirus or Clostridium difficile) when washing hands with soap and water is necessary.

Personal Protective Equipment

The use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) including disposable gloves and aprons should be based on an assessment of the risk of transmission of micro-organisms to and from the resident, client or patient. It should be worn to avoid the risk of contaminating the healthcare worker’s clothing and skin from blood, body fluids, secretions or excretions. It is worth remembering that gloves reduce the risk of contamination but they do not eliminate it; GLOVES are NOT a substitute for good hand hygiene.

Clean Contaminated Objects - Breaking the Chain of infection

  • Staff should be trained in the safe handling and disposal of sharps.
  • Aseptic technique should be used to prevent the contamination of wound and other susceptible body sites including invasive devices.
  • Premises and facilities should have cleaning policies and use appropriate materials in accordance with best practice guidance. Cleaning procedures should be carried out frequently.
  • Isolation of residents, clients or patients with an infection may be necessary to prevent further cases of infection.

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This article is from the free online course:

Using Infection Control to Combat Antimicrobial Resistance

UEA (University of East Anglia)