Droplet Precautions - Minnesota Dept. of Health

Droplet Precautions

Droplets can be generated from the source person during coughing, sneezing, talking and during the performance of certain procedures such as suctioning or bronchoscopy.

Droplets may contain microorganisms and generally travel no more than 3 feet from the patient. These droplets can be deposited on the host’s nasal mucosa, conjunctivae or mouth.

Diseases requiring droplet precautions include, but are not limited to: Pertussis, Influenza, Diphtheria and invasive Neisseria meningitidis

Additional Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for Droplet Precautions

Droplet precautions are in addition to Standard Precautions


Masks and Respirators

  • Wear a facemask, such as a procedure or surgical mask, for close contact (within 3 feet of the patient) with the patient; the facemask should be donned upon entering the exam room

Additional Procedures


  • Place the patient in an exam room with a closed door as soon as possible (prioritize patients who have excessive cough and sputum production)
  • If an exam room is not available, provide the patient a facemask and place them in a separate area as far from other patients as possible while awaiting care


  • Instruct patient to wear a facemask when exiting the exam room, avoid coming into close contact with other patients, and practice respiratory hygiene and cough etiquette

see also>>Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for Infection Control

Updated Tuesday, 29-Jan-2019 20:23:45 CST