Airborne Precautions (2023)

Airborne precautions are required to protect against airborne transmission of infectious agents.

Diseases requiring airborne precautions include, but are not limited to: Measles, Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), Varicella (chickenpox), and Mycobacterium tuberculosis.

Preventing airborne transmission requires personal respiratory protection and special ventilation and air handling.

How airborne transmission occurs:

Airborne transmission occurs through the dissemination of either:

  • airborne droplet nuclei (small-particles [5 micrograms or smaller] of evaporated droplets containing microorganisms that remain suspended in the air for long periods of time) or
  • dust particles that contain an infectious agent

Microorganisms carried by the airborne route can be widely dispersed by air currents and may become inhaled by a susceptible host in the same room or over a long distance form the source patient – depending on environmental factors such as temperature and ventilation.

Airborne precautions include:

  • Standard Precautions


  • Personal respiratory protection
    • N95 respirator
      Prior fit-testing that must be repeated annually and fit-check / seal-check prior to each use.


    • Powered Air-Purifying Respirator (PAPR)
  • Airborne Infection Isolation Room (AIIR)
    • At a minimum, AIIR rooms must:
      • Provide negative pressure room with a minimum of 6 air exchanges per hour
      • Exhaust directly to the outside or through HEPA (High Efficiency Particulate Air) filtration

Airborne precautions apply to patients known or suspected to be infected with microorganisms transmitted by airborne droplet nuclei.


Airborne Precautions? ›

Airborne precautions apply to patients known or suspected to be infected with microorganisms transmitted by airborne droplet nuclei. Preventing airborne transmission requires personal respiratory protection and special ventilation and air handling.

What are 3 airborne precautions? ›

The control and prevention of airborne transmission of infections are not simple; it requires the control of airflow with the use of specially designed ventilation systems, the practice of antiseptic techniques, wearing personalized protective equipment (PPE), and performing basic infection prevention measures like ...

What PPE is used for airborne precautions? ›

Airborne Precautions (con't.)

➢ Restrict susceptible employees from entering the room. ➢ Use PPE including gloves, gowns & eye protection and practice hand hygiene. ➢ Face mask – Wear a fit-tested N95 or higher respirator mask. ➢ Remove all PPE before leaving the room except for the respirator mask.

What are airborne diseases examples? ›

Airborne/Direct Contact Diseases
  • Acute Flaccid Myelitis (AFM)
  • Anthrax.
  • Chickenpox (Varicella)
  • COVID-19.
  • Influenza.
  • Meningitis (Neisseria meningitidis)
  • Measles (Rubeola)
  • Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS)

What are the 4 types of precautions? ›

Each kind of transmission-based precaution is dependent on the type of infection or pathogen the patient or source has, as outlined as follows:
  • Contact precautions: ...
  • Bloodborne precautions: ...
  • Droplet precautions: ...
  • Airborne precautions:

What are three airborne diseases? ›

Symptoms Of Air Borne Diseases
DiseaseType of pathogen
Feb 16, 2023

Is RSV airborne or droplet precautions? ›

Δ RSV may be transmitted by the droplet route but is primarily spread by direct contact with infectious respiratory secretions.

Is N95 used for airborne or droplet? ›

An N95 respirator is a respiratory protective device designed to achieve a very close facial fit and very efficient filtration of airborne particles.

Is droplet and airborne the same? ›

Airborne transmission occurs when bacteria or viruses travel in droplet nuclei that become aerosolized. Healthy people can inhale the infectious droplet nuclei into their lungs.

What is an airborne precaution room? ›

Negative Pressure Room – also known as an Airborne Isolation Room; a negative pressure room that is a single-occupancy patient-care room used to isolate persons with a suspected or confirmed airborne infectious disease.

What are the 4 airborne diseases? ›

Chickenpox. Influenza. Pertussis (whooping cough) Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV)

Which of the following is not an airborne disease? ›

Cholera is a bacterial disease usually spread through contaminated water.

Is hepatitis B an airborne disease? ›

Although the hepatitis B virus can be found in saliva, it is not spread through kissing or sharing utensils. Hepatitis B is not spread through sneezing, coughing, hugging, breastfeeding or through food or water.

What are airborne precautions for nurses? ›

Airborne precautions are guidelines for the care of a person who has a disease that spreads through germs (particles) in the air. If you are a patient, keep the door to your room closed and wear a mask. If you are a visitor, check with the nurse before you enter the room, and wear a mask.

What are examples of droplet precautions? ›

Doctors, nurses, and other health care workers must use Standard Precautions to limit the risk of spreading infection. This means that the health care workers may use gloves, gown, mask, eye protection or face shields when taking care of your child.

Is respiratory isolation the same as airborne? ›

There are two types of respiratory isolation precaution; droplet and airborne. Droplet precautions are the first line of defense against the spread of respiratory viruses (like the COVID-19 virus, and influenza).

What are the 3 types of transmission-based precautions? ›

There are three types of transmission-based precautions: contact precautions (for diseases spread by direct or indirect contact), droplet precautions (for diseases spread by large particles in the air), and airborne precautions (for diseases spread by small particles in the air).

What are the 3 methods of infection control? ›

These measures include: Hand Washing. Infection control standard, contact, droplet and airborne precautions.

What are the different types of precautions? ›

Types of transmission-based precautions
  • Contact precautions. ...
  • Droplet precautions. ...
  • Airborne precautions. ...
  • Note on eye protection.
Jan 18, 2023

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