This week’s tip comes from a recent update released by Community Care Licensing (CCLD). Although current California regulations refer to “universal precautions,” current infection-control techniques have advanced and today “standard precautions” (which include universal precautions) are considered the basic level of infection control.
Here is a brief description of “standard precautions” from the CCLD update:
“Both universal precautions and standard precautions assume that anyone may be infected with a virus. Standard precautions are very similar to universal precautions, but more comprehensive. In 1996, the CDC recommended that standard precautions be used in place of universal precautions in hospitals. Standard precautions have since been adapted as common-sense guidelines to prevent disease transmission in a variety of settings, including congregate-living facilities, child care facilities and schools.
“Standard precautions combine the major features of universal precautions (which apply to blood and other body fluids) and body substance isolation (a set of precautions that apply to moist body substances), and apply to: 1) blood; 2) all body fluids, secretions and excretions (except sweat) whether or not they contain visible blood; 3) nonintact skin (including cuts, scratches and badly chapped skin); and 4) mucous membranes. Thus, like universal precautions, standard precautions apply to blood and body fluids. But standard precautions also apply to body substances and fluids such as urine, feces, gastric drainage, and mucous membranes of the nose and mouth.”