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U·ni·ver·sal Pre·cau·tions(yū'ni-ver'săl prē-kaw'shŭnz),
The principle underlying universal precautions is that the blood and certain other body fluids of all recipients of health care are to be considered potentially infected with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), hepatitis B virus (HBV), and other bloodborne pathogens. Universal precautions apply to blood, unfixed tissues (except intact skin), cerebrospinal fluid, synovial fluid, pleural fluid, peritoneal fluid, pericardial fluid, amniotic fluid, semen, and vaginal secretions, but not to feces, nasal secretions, sputum, sweat, tears, urine, or vomitus unless these materials contain visible blood. Specific precautions are prescribed with respect to mouth-to-mouth resuscitation, surgery, invasive diagnostic procedures, obstetrics, renal dialysis, dentistry, clinical laboratories, morgues, and morticians' services. Barrier devices such as gloves, gowns, waterproof aprons, masks, and protective eyewear are required in certain settings, to prevent exposure to blood and other biologically hazardous materials. The OSHA standard requires glove wear for phlebotomy and intraoral examinations and manipulations. Standards are also imposed for laundry, cleaning of surfaces, and disposal of contaminated wastes. Special precautions are advised for handling needles, scalpels, and other sharp instruments or devices after use. Immunization with HBV vaccine is recommended as an important adjunct to universal precautions for health care workers exposed to blood. Universal precautions are intended to supplement, not replace, routine procedures for infection control such as handwashing and using gloves to prevent gross contamination of the hands. Implementation of universal precautions does not eliminate the need for other category- or disease-specific isolation precautions, such as enteric precautions for infectious diarrhea and respiratory isolation for pulmonary tuberculosis.
universal precautionsInfectious disease A method of infection control–recommendations issued by CDC–in which all human blood, certain body fluids, as well as fresh tissues and cells of human origin, are treated as if known to be infected with HIV, HBV, and/or other blood-borne pathogens. See Precautions, Reverse precautions. Cf Body substance isolation.
U·ni·ver·sal Pre·cau·tions(yū'ni-vĕr'săl prĕ-kaw'shŭnz)
u·ni·ver·sal pre·cau·tions(yū'ni-vĕr'săl prē-kaw'shŭnz)
U·ni·ver·sal Pre·cau·tions(yūni-vĕrsăl prĕ-kawshŭnz)
standard precautions. See also
standard precautions. n.pl 2. the protocols used to maintain an aseptic field and to prevent cross-contamination and cross-infection between health care providers, between health care providers and patients, and between patients. These include, but are not limited to, the sterilization of instruments and goods; the isolation and disinfection of the immediate clinical environment; the use of sterile disposables; scrubbing, masking, gowning, and gloving; and the proper disposal of contaminated waste.