guidelines recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for reducing the risk of airborne transmission of infectious agents. Airborne droplet nuclei consist of small-particle residue (5 μm or smaller in size) of evaporated droplets that may remain suspended in the air for a long time. Airborne transmission occurs by dissemination of either airborne droplet nuclei or dust particles containing the infectious agent. Microorganisms carried in this manner can be widely dispersed by air currents and may be inhaled or deposited on a susceptible host from the source patient. Special air handling and ventilation are required to prevent airborne transmission. Airborne precautions apply to patients known or suspected to be infected with epidemiologically important pathogens that can be transmitted by the airborne route. Examples include measles (rubeola), varicella zoster virus infections, Legionella infection, disseminated zoster, and tuberculosis. Compare Contact Precautions, Droplet Precautions. See also Standard Precautions, Transmission-Based Precautions.
airborne precautionsInfection control precautions for airborne pathogens, which are over and above “standard precautions”:
• Patient placement in a private room.
• Respiratory protection for staff members.
• Limiting the amount of time that the patient is transported.
Pathogens transmitted by airborne droplets Measles, tuberculosis, varicella.
air·borne pre·cau·tions(ār'bōrn prĕ-kaw'shŭnz)
Measures taken to prevent transmission of infectious agents by airborne droplet spray. Airborne precautions include use of masks and air filtration systems.