Prevention and control measures | Infection prevention and control | Advice and support | For patients, carers and visitors (2023)

Infection prevention and control measures at Royal Free London hospitals

Infection prevention and control measures aim to protect patients, visitors and staff from acquiring an infection and to control infection transmission when it is identified.The basic principles of infection prevention and control are:

  • environmental hygiene – providing a clean and safe hospital for patients to receive the medical care they need
  • trained staff, who will always act to prevent infections, and recognise how to control the spread of any identified new infection
  • to provide a high standard of support services alongside clinical care, such as laundry, sterile medical equipment, waste management and cleaning
  • to provide information to patients and carers about infection prevention and what to expect when an infection is identified
  • to include patients in the provision of good infection prevention measures by encouraging and enabling good hygiene and handwashing and providing information to enable patients to make choices in their care.

Good hygiene at the Royal Free London – what can you do to help?

The single most important tool we have to aid us in the prevention of spreading infection and enforcing good hygiene is to have staff decontaminate their hands before and after caring for you by hand washing or using an alcohol-based cleanser. If you are worried that we might have forgotten, it is OK to remind us! We welcome your help in keeping you safe.


What are five safety precautions that should be observed when caring for patients or residents? ›

Standard Precautions
  • Hand hygiene.
  • Use of personal protective equipment (e.g., gloves, masks, eyewear).
  • Respiratory hygiene / cough etiquette.
  • Sharps safety (engineering and work practice controls).
  • Safe injection practices (i.e., aseptic technique for parenteral medications).
  • Sterile instruments and devices.

What is infection prevention and control in health and social care? ›

Infection prevention and control (IPC) is a practical, evidence-based approach preventing patients and health workers from being harmed by avoidable infections.

What are the four 4 standard precautions for preventing and controlling infection in the clinical setting? ›

Standard precautions are basic infection prevention and control strategies that apply to everyone, regardless of their perceived or confirmed infectious status. Strategies include hand hygiene, personal protective equipment, cleaning, and appropriate handling and disposal of sharps.

What are infection control practices that must be used by health care workers for all patients regardless of their illness or injury? ›

Hand Hygiene

Before and after any direct patient contact and between patients, whether or not gloves are worn. Immediately after gloves are removed. Before handling an invasive device. After touching blood, body fluids, secretions, excretions, non-intact skin, and contaminated items, even when gloves are worn.

How are standard precautions used to protect patients and health care workers? ›

Standard Precautions are used for all patient care. They're based on a risk assessment and make use of common sense practices and personal protective equipment use that protect healthcare providers from infection and prevent the spread of infection from patient to patient.

What type of precautions should be used in the care of all patients? ›

Standard precautions are the basic level of infection control that should be used in the care of all patients all of the time. Use standard precautions in the care of all patients to reduce the risk of transmission of microorganisms from both recognized and non-recognized sources of infection.

What are the 10 standard infection control precautions? ›

There are 10 elements of SICPs:
  • patient placement/assessment of infection risk.
  • hand hygiene.
  • respiratory and cough hygiene.
  • personal protective equipment.
  • safe management of the care environment.
  • safe management of care equipment.
  • safe management of healthcare linen.
  • safe management of blood and body fluids.

What is infection control in caregiving? ›

Infection control prevents or stops the spread of infections in healthcare settings. This site includes an overview of how infections spread, ways to prevent the spread of infections, and more detailed recommendations by type of healthcare setting.

What are infection prevention and control procedures? ›

hand hygiene before and after all patient contact. the use of personal protective equipment, which may include gloves, impermeable gowns, plastic aprons, masks, face shields and eye protection. the safe use and disposal of sharps.

What are the 4 main types of precautions in healthcare? ›

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 3 standard precautions in healthcare? ›

  • Hand hygiene1.
  • Gloves. ■ Wear when touching blood, body fluids, secretions, excretions, mucous membranes, nonintact skin. ...
  • Facial protection (eyes, nose, and mouth) ■ ...
  • Gown. ■ ...
  • Prevention of needle stick and injuries from other.
  • Respiratory hygiene and cough etiquette.
  • Environmental cleaning. ■ ...
  • Linens.

What is the most effective way to prevent infection? ›

Proper hand washing is the most effective way to prevent the spread of infections in hospitals. If you are a patient, don't be afraid to remind friends, family and health care providers to wash their hands before getting close to you. Other steps health care workers can take include: Covering coughs and sneezes.

How can you prevent infection in patients? ›

Proper use of personal protective equipment (e.g., gloves, masks, gowns), aseptic technique, hand hygiene, and environmental infection control measures are primary methods to protect the patient from transmission of microorganisms from another patient and from the health care worker.

How can healthcare workers promote infection prevention and control? ›

Standard precautions are basic steps that every health care worker should take to prevent the spread of germs. Standard precautions include keeping hands clean, not touching the face, covering coughs in sleeves, and using safety needles and sharps. Practice good hand hygiene.

What are the three recommended infection control precautions? ›

These include correct hand hygiene, safe cleaning and decontamination, safe handling and disposal of waste and linen, sharps safety, correct use of personal protective clothing, safe handling of blood and body fluids and respiratory hygiene.

What are the 5 steps to improving patient safety? ›

  • Maintain Patient Room Cleanliness. HAIs breed and spread in unclean environments, so keeping patient rooms clean is vital. ...
  • Practice Proper Hand Hygiene. ...
  • Develop Optimized Discharge Process. ...
  • Keep High-Risk Patients Safer With Trained Sitters. ...
  • Apply UV-C Technology Creatively.

What are some safety considerations to be aware of when caring for a resident that is receiving oxygen? ›

Never place the tank or machine near an open flame (e.g., matches, lit candles, a stove in use). Keep the oxygen tank at least six feet away. Always turn your oxygen off when not in use. Always check the oxygen levels on your oxygen tank.

What are safety precautions? ›

(ˈseɪftɪ prɪˈkɔːʃən ) noun. a precaution that is taken in order to ensure that something is safe and not dangerous. safety precautions visible everywhere: lifejackets, small boat, inflatable rubber boats. Collins English Dictionary.

What are some safety concerns for a CNA? ›

Nurse aides are at risk for developing repetitive stress injuries, which can occur because of repetitive motions or awkward posture, or when lifting heavy objects without the proper support. Examples of repetitive stress injuries include bursitis, carpal tunnel syndrome, tendinitis and trigger finger.

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