Standard precautions CCC


Standard precautions are work practices that provide a first-line approach to infection prevention in the healthcare environment.

This replaces older obsolete terms that were previously used including:

  • Universal Precautions, which were techniques used to minimise the risk of transmission of blood-borne infections – includes handling all body fluids, sharps and waste.
  • Body Substance Isolation, which involved isolation of all body substances undergoing medical treatment (goes further than Universal Precautions and includes – hand hygiene, use gloves, gown, mask, eye protection, face shield depending on anticipated exposure)


  • to protect patient and staff from infection in the healthcare environment


  • should be adopted by all healthcare workers in all facilities at all times
  • used regardless of suspected or known infection status
  • based on the principle that all blood and body fluids, secretions and excretions, may contain transmissible infectious agents


This is essential because people maybe:

  • placed at risk of infection from others who carry infectious agents
  •  infectious before signs or symptoms of disease are recognised or detected
  • at risk from infectious agents present in the surrounding environment, including environmental surfaces or from equipment
  • at an increased risk of transmission associated with specific procedures and practices


Standard precautions include:

  • hand hygiene, before and after every episode of patient contact (‘WHO’s 5 moments’)
  • the use of 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
  • aseptic non-touch technique (ANTT)
  • waste management
  • appropriate handling of linen


  • unit policy development and integration:

-> when to use protective clothing
-> care of patient linen
-> disposal of contaminated garbage
-> disposal of contaminated sharps
-> disinfection, sanitisation and sterilisation of all reusable equipment
-> housekeeping (mopping, dusting, cleaning)

  • single use drug ampoules, vials and syringes
  • use of disposable items (Guedel airways)
  • vaccination of staff
  • responsibility to team leader to ensure compliance of other staff
  • education (in-service, orientation programs, posters and articles)
  • adherence to 5 moments of hand hygiene
  • readily availability of equipment (gloves, masks, sharps bins, eye protection)
  • availability of alcohol-based hand gel
  • sinks: positioning, design to allow hand-free function
  • survey compliance

CCC 700 6

Critical Care


Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.