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Standard precautions are the minimum infection prevention and control practices that must always be used.

Standard precautions are based on a risk assessment and common sense practices such as the use of personal protective equipment (PPE), good hand hygiene and safe coughing/sneezing etiquette.

Transmission-based precautions are the second tier of basic infection control and are used when standard precautions alone are not enough to prevent the spread of infection.

Transmission-based precautions include practices such as limiting the movement of a patient to what is strictly medically necessary, having the patient wear a mask or immunising susceptible people as soon as possible following unprotected contact with a vaccine-preventable infection.

The Centre for Disease Control (CDC) website contains comprehensive information on standard precautions including:

  • perform hand hygiene
  • use personal protective equipment (PPE) whenever there is an expectation of possible exposure to infectious material
  • follow respiratory hygiene/cough etiquette principles
  • ensure appropriate patient placement
  • properly handle and properly clean and disinfect patient care equipment and instruments/devices
  • handle textiles and laundry carefully
  • follow safe injection practices
  • ensure health care worker safety including proper handling of needles and other sharps.

The Commission runs a hand hygiene programme. Please find further information about the programme here. 

Comprehensive information about personal protective equipment use in health and disability care settings is available on the Ministry of Health’s website.

Last updated: 14th April 2022