Standard Precautions - Minnesota Dept. of Health

Standard Precautions

Standard precautions are the basic level of infection control that should be used in the care of all patients all of the time.

  • Use standard precautions in the care of all patients to reduce the risk of transmission of microorganisms from both recognized and non-recognized sources of infection.

  • Applies to blood, all body fluids, secretions and excretions (except sweat) whether or not they contain visible blood; non-intact skin; and mucous membranes.

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for Standard Precautions


  • Clean, non-sterile gloves when touching or coming into contact with blood, body fluids, secretions or excretions
  • Apply gloves just before touching mucous membranes or contacting blood, body fluids, secretions, or excretions
  • Remove gloves promptly after use and discard before touching non-contaminated items or environmental surfaces, and before providing care to another patient
  • Wash hands immediately after removing gloves


  • Wear a fluid resistant, non-sterile gown to protect skin and clothing during procedures or activities where contact with blood or body fluids is anticipated
  • Do not wear the same gown for the care of more than one patient
  • Apply gown prior to performing such activities that may generate splashes or sprays of blood, body fluids, secretions and excretions

Masks and Respirators

  • Wear a face mask when there is potential contact with respiratory secretions and sprays of blood or body fluids, when placing a catheter or injecting material into the spinal canal or subdural space (to protect patients from exposure to infectious agents carried in the mouth or nose of health care personnel), or to perform intrathecal chemotherapy

Other Face and Eye Protection

  • Wear eye protection (goggles and face shields) for potential splash or spray of blood, respiratory secretions, or other body fluids
  • Personal eyeglasses and contact lenses are¬†not¬†considered adequate eye protection
  • May use goggles with facemasks, or face shield alone, to protect the mouth, nose and eyes

Additional Procedures

Hand Hygiene - always - following any patient contact

  • Wash hands for 20 seconds with soap and warm water – especially if visibly soiled
  • Clean hands with alcohol-based hand rub if not visibly soiled

Patient Care Equipment

  • Avoid contamination of clothing and the transfer of microorganisms to other patients, surfaces and environments
  • Clean, disinfect or reprocess non-disposable equipment before reuse with another patient
  • Discard single-use items properly

Injection Safety

  • Injection safety refers to the proper use and handling of supplies for administering injections and infusions (e.g., syringes, needles, fingerstick devices, intravenous tubing, medication vials, and parenteral solutions)

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

Updated Tuesday, 29-Jan-2019 20:23:47 CST