Airborne and contact isolation precautions
What are airborne and contact precautions?
Airborne and contact precautions are steps that healthcare facility visitors and staff need to follow when going into or leaving a patient’s room. They help stop germs from spreading so other people don’t get sick. Airborne and contact precautions are for patients who have germs that can spread:
- through the air
- by touching the patient or surfaces in their room
How do I know if a patient is on airborne and contact precautions?
There will be a sign at the door. It tells healthcare facility visitors and staff what they need to do before going into the patient’s room and when they leave the room.
What should I do before visiting a patient on airborne and contact precautions?
Speak to a nurse before your first visit and before you bring children. There may be limits on who can visit the patient.
When a patient is on airborne and contact precautions, there are certain situations where you may be required to leave the room.
What should I do before I go into the patient’s room?
- Clean your hands. Use soap and water or hand sanitizer (alcohol-based hand rub).
- Put on an air-filtration mask, which is also called an N95 respirator. Ask a nurse to help you put on the mask, check its fit, and take it off properly (video).
- Put on a gown and then gloves if you’re helping with patient care (if not, you don’t need these). Tie the gown at your neck and waist, and put the cuffs of the gloves over the cuffs of the gown.
- Enter the patient’s room and close the door.
If you wear religious or cultural head coverings, find tips for wearing a mask.
What should I do when I leave the patient’s room?
If you’re visiting a patient who has diarrhea, clean your hands with soap and water, not hand sanitizer, when you leave their room. If you’re not wearing a gown and gloves, start at step 4. If you’re wearing a gown and gloves:
- Take off the gloves by holding the outside edge near your wrist. Put the gloves in the garbage in the patient’s room. Don’t wear the gloves in other areas of the healthcare facility.
- Clean your hands.
- Untie the gown at your neck and waist and take it off. Put the gown in the linen hamper or garbage in the patient’s room. Don’t wear the gown in other areas of the healthcare facility.
- Clean your hands.
- Leave the patient’s room. Close the door behind you.
- Take off the mask the way the nurse showed you and put it in the garbage. Don’t touch the front of the mask. Don’t wear the mask in other areas of the healthcare facility.
- Clean your hands again.
Can a patient on airborne and contact precautions leave their room?
A patient on airborne and contact precautions may leave their room only if necessary (for example, to go for a medical test). They must wear a mask at all times when they’re out of their room.
How else can I stop germs from spreading?
- Don’t visit a patient in a healthcare facility if you have a fever, cold, or diarrhea.
- Don’t visit if you have recently been around someone with a contagious disease (this means a disease others can catch, such as chickenpox or the flu).
- Use public washrooms at the healthcare facility. Don’t use the patient’s washroom.
- Talk to a healthcare provider if you have questions about how to stop germs from spreading.
To see this information online and learn more, visit MyHealth.Alberta.ca/health/pages/conditions.aspx?Hwid=custom.ab_isolation_airbornecontact_inst_adult.
Related to Airborne and Contact Isolation Precautions
- Contact isolation precautions
- Droplet isolation precautions
- Contact and droplet isolation precautions
- Airborne isolation precautions
For 24/7 nurse advice and general health information call Health Link at 811.
Current as of: February 1, 2023
Author: Infection Prevention and Control, Alberta Health Services
This material is not a substitute for the advice of a qualified health professional. This material is intended for general information only and is provided on an "as is", "where is" basis. Although reasonable efforts were made to confirm the accuracy of the information, Alberta Health Services does not make any representation or warranty, express, implied or statutory, as to the accuracy, reliability, completeness, applicability or fitness for a particular purpose of such information. Alberta Health Services expressly disclaims all liability for the use of these materials, and for any claims, actions, demands or suits arising from such use.
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 the 4 types of isolation precautions? ›
- Contact precautions: ...
- Bloodborne precautions: ...
- Droplet precautions: ...
- 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.Is an airborne infection isolation room required for individuals on airborne precautions? ›
The preferred placement for patients who require Airborne Precautions is in an airborne infection isolation room (AIIR).What are the 3 isolation guidelines that will be instituted with airborne precautions? ›
The three major components of airborne isolation precautions as a strategy for reducing transmission of aerosol transmissible diseases are (1) physical space and engineering controls, (2) healthcare personnel respiratory protection and personal protective equipment, and (3) clinical protocols, policies, procedures, and ...What are the 4 main precautions? ›
Hand hygiene. Use of personal protective equipment (e.g., gloves, masks, eyewear). Respiratory hygiene / cough etiquette. Sharps safety (engineering and work practice controls).What are the 3 types of isolation precautions? ›
The following are examples of signs for Contact, Droplet, and Airborne Precautions that can be posted outside patient rooms.What are airborne and contact precautions? ›
Airborne and contact precautions are steps that healthcare facility visitors and staff need to follow when going into or leaving a patient's room. They help stop germs from spreading so other people don't get sick. Airborne and contact precautions are for patients who have germs that can spread: through the air.What is required for contact precautions? ›
Health care personnel caring for patients on Contact Precautions must wear a gown and gloves for all interactions that involve contact with the patient and the patient environment.What are the contact precautions for transmission? ›
Wear gloves and gown when in contact with the individual, surfaces, or objects within his/her environment. All re-usable items taken into an exam room or home should be cleaned and disinfected before removed. Disposable items should be discarded at point of use.
Airborne infection isolation room (AIIR).
Formerly, negative pressure isolation room, an AIIR is a single-occupancy patient-care room used to isolate persons with a suspected or confirmed airborne infectious disease.
an airborne isolation room. Place patients directly into an airborne isolation room with door closed. If a facility does not have an airborne isolation room, patient to be placed into a single room; the patient should be instructed to keep the mask on and the door should remain closed.Can airborne precautions have visitors? ›
Leave the room only when medically necessary and make sure you clean your hands and wear a procedure mask whenever you do. Limit your visitors to a few family members or close friends. What should my visitors do? Clean their hands upon entering and exiting your room.What PPE is needed for droplet contact droplet contact and airborne isolation precautions? ›
Wear a fit-tested, seal-checked N95 respirator, gown, gloves, and eye protection (face shield, goggles and some safety glasses) when providing direct care. Other appropriate PPE includes a well-fitted medical mask based on a point-of-care risk assessment. For AGMPs, wear a fit-tested, seal-checked N95 respirator.What mask is best for airborne precautions? ›
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 are the 7 isolation categories? ›
- Introduced seven isolation precaution categories with color-coded cards: Strict, Respiratory, Protective, Enteric, Wound and Skin, Discharge, and Blood.
- No user decision-making required.
- Simplicity a strength; over isolation prescribed for some infections.
- hand hygiene, as consistent with the 5 moments for hand hygiene.
- the use of appropriate personal protective equipment.
- the safe use and disposal of sharps.
- routine environmental cleaning.
- reprocessing of reusable medical equipment and instruments.
- respiratory hygiene and cough etiquette.
There are five isolation processes that prevent two species from interbreeding: ecological, temporal, behavioral, mechanical/chemical and geographical.What are the 2 main types of isolation? ›
Behavioral isolation occurs when two populations that are capable of interbreeding develop differences in courtship rituals or other behaviors. Geographic isolation occurs when two populations are separated by geographic barriers such as rivers, mountains, or bodies of water.