Standard Precautions - MN Dept. of Health (2023)

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Infectious Disease Epidemiology, Prevention and Control Division


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Infectious Disease Epidemiology, Prevention and Control Division


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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.
  • Applies to blood, all body fluids, secretions and excretions (except sweat) whether or not they contain visible blood; non-intact skin; and mucous membranes.

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for Standard Precautions


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  • Clean, non-sterile gloves when touching or coming into contact with blood, body fluids, secretions or excretions
  • Apply gloves just before touching mucous membranes or contacting blood, body fluids, secretions, or excretions
  • Remove gloves promptly after use and discard before touching non-contaminated items or environmental surfaces, and before providing care to another patient
  • Wash hands immediately after removing gloves


  • Wear a fluid resistant, non-sterile gown to protect skin and clothing during procedures or activities where contact with blood or body fluids is anticipated
  • Do not wear the same gown for the care of more than one patient
  • Apply gown prior to performing such activities that may generate splashes or sprays of blood, body fluids, secretions and excretions

Masks and Respirators

  • Wear a face mask when there is potential contact with respiratory secretions and sprays of blood or body fluids, when placing a catheter or injecting material into the spinal canal or subdural space (to protect patients from exposure to infectious agents carried in the mouth or nose of health care personnel), or to perform intrathecal chemotherapy

Other Face and Eye Protection

  • Wear eye protection (goggles and face shields) for potential splash or spray of blood, respiratory secretions, or other body fluids
  • Personal eyeglasses and contact lenses arenotconsidered adequate eye protection
  • May use goggles with facemasks, or face shield alone, to protect the mouth, nose and eyes

Additional Procedures

Hand Hygiene - always - following any patient contact

  • Wash hands for 20 seconds with soap and warm water – especially if visibly soiled
  • Clean hands with alcohol-based hand rub if not visibly soiled

Patient Care Equipment

  • Avoid contamination of clothing and the transfer of microorganisms to other patients, surfaces and environments
  • Clean, disinfect or reprocess non-disposable equipment before reuse with another patient
  • Discard single-use items properly

Injection Safety

  • Injection safety refers to the proper use and handling of supplies for administering injections and infusions (e.g., syringes, needles, fingerstick devices, intravenous tubing, medication vials, and parenteral solutions)

see also>>Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for Infection Control

Last Updated: 10/20/2022

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Which of these answers is part of standard precautions? ›

Hand hygiene. Use of personal protective equipment (e.g., gloves, masks, eyewear). Respiratory hygiene / cough etiquette.

Which is the best answer for when standard precautions should be used? ›

Standard precautions apply to all patients regardless of their diagnosis or presumed infection status. Standard precautions must be used in the handling of: blood (including dried blood) all other body fluids/substances (except sweat), regardless of whether they contain visible blood.

What should standard precautions be followed for in a healthcare setting? ›

Standard Precautions are used for all patient care encounters and are based on risk assessment, use of common sense practices, and proper use of personal protective equipment (PPE) to protect health care personnel (HCP) from exposure to infectious disease and prevent transmission between patients.

What are the CDC's standard precautions designed to do? ›

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.


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