Immediate Life Support (ILS)- Healthcare

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Chain of infection and universal precautions

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Chain of Infection and Universal Precautions

The Importance of Infection Control

In a resuscitation scenario, it's vital to understand the chain of infection and apply universal precautions to protect patients, ourselves, and colleagues. Learn how to maintain safety even in high-pressure situations.

Transmission of Infection

Infections can spread between patients and healthcare workers through various means, including contact with bodily fluids like blood, faeces, and urine.

Implementing Universal Precautions

Follow these universal precautions to minimize infection risk:

  • Glove Usage: Properly apply and remove gloves before and after patient contact. Note that gloves might contain forensic evidence.
  • Protective Gowns: Use gowns in situations involving body fluids or cross-contamination risks.
  • Face Masks: Cover eyes, face, nose, and mouth with masks, especially during procedures with potential blood splashes.
  • Disposing of Equipment: Dispose of disposable infection control equipment appropriately, typically in yellow clinical waste bags (follow local colour coding).
  • Hand Hygiene: After glove removal, wash hands with warm soapy water, extending cleaning to the elbows. Hands should be bare from the elbows down, except for one ring. Wash hands after each patient contact, before seeing another patient, before/after eating, using the toilet, or smoking.
  • Equipment Cleaning: Thoroughly clean equipment following local protocols before reuse.

By adhering to these precautions, you help break the chain of infection and ensure the safety of both patients and healthcare providers.