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What are the standards required under universal precautions in medicine?

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Quick Answer

Infection prevention powers the standards required by universal precautions, such as cleanliness, proper handling and disposal of waste, and practicing safe injections, according to the Wisconsin Department of Health Services. Universal precautions educate health care workers about protecting themselves and others from diseases, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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Full Answer

Hand hygiene means washing with soap and water and using alcohol gel before and after treating patients. Gloves and other protective barriers, including gowns, masks and protective eyewear, provide protection of the skin, eyes, mouth and nose, according to the Centers for Disease Control. Precautions also include wearing utility gloves when cleaning up bodily fluids or performing housekeeping tasks.

Performing safe injections requires a new needle for each medication. Needles must not be reused. Universal precautions detail proper handling and disposal of needles and other sharp instruments, such as lancets. Health care workers should immediately put sharps in the sharps container for proper disposal, as specified by the Wisconsin Department of Health Services.

When patients exhibit symptoms of respiratory illness, health care staff may provide disposable face masks, alcohol gel, tissues and touch-free waste receptacles, explains the Wisconsin Department of Health Services. Displaying cough etiquette posters in waiting areas helps remind individuals to cover mouths and noses to prevent contagious airborne diseases.

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