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Observing Standard Precautions in the OR


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Observing Standard Precautions in the OR

By Kathy Dix

The Basics


  • Standard precautions to prevent pathogen transmission should be used during all invasive procedures.
  • Standard precautions should include use of protective barriers and prompt and frequent handwashing to reduce the risk of exposure to potentially infectious materials.
  • Personnel should take precautions to prevent injuries caused by scalpels and other sharp instruments.
  • Personnel should handle specimens as potentially infectious material.
  • Work practices should be designed to minimize risk of occupational exposure to bloodborne and other potentially infectious pathogens.
  • Personnel who have exudative lesions or weeping dermatitis should refrain from providing direct patient care or handling medical devices used in performing invasive procedures.
  • Personnel who participate in invasive procedures are encouraged to voluntarily know their HIV and HBV antibody status and disclose a positive status to the appropriate facility authority.
  • Guidelines of the CDC Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices regarding HBV immunization should be followed.
  • Transmission-based precautions should be used in addition to standard precautions for patients who are known or suspected to be infected with epidemiologically important and highly transmissible pathogens. Types of transmission-based precautions include airborne, droplet and contact precautions.
  • Policies and procedures that address occupational exposure to blood and bloody fluids and epidemiologically important microorganisms should be written, reviewed periodically and readily available within the practice setting.

The Most Important Principle


Reinforcing Forgotten Standards

Protecting Patients From Microorganisms on HCWs

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