Fact 20 – Infection control: types of infection precautions

Depending on the patient’s infection status, there are different types of precautions to be followed:

  1. Standard precautions
    • The basic precautions to be taken for any case performed in the Operating Room;
    • Use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) when there is exposure to blood/body fluids;
    • Hand hygiene between patients and when hands are visibly soiled
  2. Contact precautions
    • When infection is transmitted through direct contact;
    • Use of PPE always
    • Wash with soap and water, if in direct contact with blood/ body fluids
    • Cover patient’s affected area, if transporting patient;
    • Examples: Multiple-drug–resistant organisms (MDROs), Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), Vancomycin-resistant enterococci (VRE), and Clostridium difficile (C. diff)
  3. Droplet precautions
    •  When infection is transmitted through large* droplets that can be inhaled;
    • Use of PPE if within 1 meter (aprox.) of the patient
    • Place a mask on the patient, if transporting the patient
    •  Examples: Influenza (flu); Pertussis; Diphtheria
  4. Airborne precautions
    • When infection is transmitted through small* droplets that can be inhaled;
    • Use PPE, including an N95 respirator mask;
    • Use an isolation room that has a special air-exchange and ventilation system with negative pressure;
    • Cover the patient’s nose and mouth with a mask, if transporting the patient;
    • Transfer directly the patient to the operating room;
    • Do not transfer the patient to areas with other patients;
    • Examples: Tuberculosis, Rubeola (measles), Varicella (chicken pox)


PPE = use of mask, eye protection, gloves, cover jacket, gown

*Large droplets = 5 or more microns; Small droplets = less than 5 microns



Dependendo da infecção que o paciente apresenta, existem diferentes tipos de precauçÔes a serem seguidas:

  1. PrecauçÔes padrão
    1. As precauçÔes båsicas a serem tomadas para qualquer caso realizado na sala de cirurgia;
    2. Uso de Equipamentos de Protecção Individual (EPI) quando houver exposição a sangue / fluidos corporais;
    3. Higiene das mĂŁos entre pacientes e quando as mĂŁos estĂŁo visivelmente sujas
  2. PrecauçÔes de contacto
    1. Quando a infecção é transmitida através de contacto directo;
    2. Uso de EPI sempre
    3. Lave as mãos  com sabão e ågua,caso tenha contacto directo com sangue / fluidos corporais
    4. Cubra a ĂĄrea afectada, case transporte o paciente;
    5. Exemplos: Organismos resistentes a mĂșltiplos fĂĄrmacos (MDROs), Staphylococcus aureus resistentes Ă  meticilina (MRSA), Enterococos resistentes Ă  vancomicina (VRE) e Clostridium difficile (C. diff)
  3. PrecauçÔes com gotículas
    1. Quando a infecção é transmitida através de gotículas grandes* que podem ser inaladas;
    2. Uso de EPI caso esteja aproximadamente a 1 metro do paciente
    3. Coloque uma mĂĄscara no paciente, se transportar o paciente
    4. Exemplos: Influenza (gripe); Coqueluche; Difteria
  4. PrecauçÔes com aerossóis
    1. Quando a infecção é transmitida através de gotículas pequenas * que podem ser inaladas;
    2. Use EPI, incluindo uma mĂĄscara respiratĂłria N95;
    3. Use uma sala de isolamento que tenha um sistema especial de troca de ar e ventilação com pressão negativa;
    4. Cubra o nariz e a boca do paciente com uma mĂĄscara, se transportar o paciente;
    5. Transferir directamente o paciente para a sala de cirurgia;
    6. NĂŁo transfira o paciente para ĂĄreas com outros pacientes;
    7. Exemplos: Tuberculose, Rubéola (sarampo), Varicela 


EPI = uso de måscara, protecção para os olhos, luvas, capa, bata

* Grandes gotas = 5 ou mais mĂ­cron; GotĂ­culas pequenas = menos de 5 mĂ­cron


References / Referencias:

Criscitelli EdD RN, Theresa. Fast Facts for the Operating Room Nurse: An Orientation and Care Guide in a Nutshell: Volume 1 (pp. 57-58). Springer Publishing Comblood/vody fluidspany. Kindle Edition.


Author: Sofia Gonçalves

...dreaming about creativity :)

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