If it is wet and not yours, wear gloves!

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Precaution Type Protection From Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Example Diagnoses

Standard & Contact Precautions (a.k.a. Universal Precautions)

This precaution is designed for the care of all patients’ regardless of their diagnosis or presumed infection status.

All patient’s bodily fluids (Blood, secretions, feces, urine, mucous membranes, open skin tears, lesions, sputum .etc) Gloves as a minimum. Use mask, gown, face shield as needed depending on the procedure and if there is a potential for fluids to splash, spray or squirt. Also, if there is a chance of your clothes to come in “contact” with contaminated areas which may transfer infectious germs, wear a gown. M-Multi-drug resistant organisms

R-Respiratory infection

S-Skin Infection

W-Wound infection

(intestinal) or Eye infection

H-Herpes simplex


P-Pediculosis (lice)


Droplet Precautions

This layers on top of Standard Precautions.

Heavy bacteria and viruses spread by coughing and sneezing. These droplets are heavy and fall to surfaces rapidly, usually falling within 3 feet of the patient. Follow the Standard/Contact Precautions with the addition of a surgical mask. S-Streptococcal pharyngitis



D– Diphtheria





N-Neisseria meningitidis

Airborne Precautions

Layers on top of the above precautions.

Hardy and lightweight bacteria and viruses that can be suspended in the air for long periods of time and may be carried for long distances on air currents. A step above Droplet Precautions with a special mask or N­95 respirator. Wear a gown to protect your clothes. The patient, if possible, should be in a room with special air flow ventilation. My-Measles

Chicken-Chicken Pox

Hez-Herpes Zoster


Protective or Reverse Precautions

To protect immuno-compromised patients; impaired resistance to infection.

Protection of the patient from hospital or visitors’ infective agents. Gloves, Mask and Gowns. T-Transplant



N-Neutropenia (low neutrophil count)

*These precaution guidelines and PPE may vary between facilities. As always consult your facility’s policy and Infection Control Manual for the most updated information for your institution.


 Always wash your hands prior to donning and after removing your PPE.


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