Standard Precautions

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The page below is a sample from the LabCE course Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) and Clinical Laboratory Safety in the United States. Access the complete course and earn ASCLS P.A.C.E.-approved continuing education credits by subscribing online.

Learn more about Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) and Clinical Laboratory Safety in the United States (online CE course)
Standard Precautions

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends the use of Standard Precautions, which are work practices that provide a basic level of infection control to minimize or prevent the spread of infectious agents. Standard Precautions should be used in the care of all patients in a healthcare setting, regardless of their suspected or diagnosed infection status.
Standard Precautions guidelines apply to all patients and consider all of the following to potentially contain transmissible infectious agents, regardless of whether or not there is visible blood:
  • Blood
  • Body fluids
  • Secretions
  • Excretions (*Note: Precautions should be modified to include sweat for possible/confirmed EVD patients)
  • Non-intact skin
  • Mucous membranes
  • Dried blood and other body substances, including saliva
Standard Precautions incorporate work practices that include hand hygiene protocols and the proper use of personal protective equipment (PPE), depending on the expected exposure.
*Note: While Standard Precautions do not usually apply to sweat, EVD is transmitted in this manner. For this reason, the precautions apply to sweat in possible or confirmed EVD patients.