Infection Prevention and Control Poster - Droplet precautions, in addition to standard precautions poster
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Droplet precautions, in addition to standard precautions, are used to prevent transmission of infectious agents spread through respiratory droplets (i.e. droplets >5microns in size). These are generated by a patient who is coughing, sneezing, or talking. Transmission via droplets requires close contact as the droplets do not remain suspended in the air, and generally only travel short distances. Therefore, special air handling and ventilation are not required.
Droplets can contaminate horizontal surfaces close to the source patient, and the hands of healthcare workers can become contaminated through direct contact with those surfaces.
The key elements of applying droplet precautions are:
- Use of appropriate personal protective equipment (surgical mask always required, apron, gown, gloves, and protective eyewear as appropriate)
- Patient placement
- Minimising patient transfer or transport.
(Source: Section 3.2.3 Droplet precautions, Australian Guidelines for the Prevention and Control of Infection in Healthcare)