contact isolation

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Related to contact isolation: respiratory isolation, strict isolation

con·tact i·so·la·tion

(kon'takt ī'sŏ-lā'shŭn)
Form of isolation in which anyone entering the patient's room and having direct contact with the patient wears gloves and a gown.

contact isolation

Any of the techniques used in addition to standard precautions that decrease the likelihood of infection by microorganisms transmitted through direct or indirect contact with the patient or patient care items, e.g., methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus and Clostridium difficile. Patients placed on contact isolation should preferably have a private room, but patients may be placed with others infected with the same organism (patient cohort). Hospital workers must wear gloves when entering the room for any reason and gowns if close patient contact is required, e.g., when bathing or turning the patient or caring for wounds. Masks and eye shields are required only if there is a potential for splash or splatter of body fluids onto the face. Stethoscopes and other noncritical patient care equipment should be dedicated to single-patient or patient-cohort use. Synonym: contact precaution

Patient care

Patients with diarrhea caused by Clostridium difficile, hepatitis A, rotavirus, or multidrug-resistant organisms, with wounds infected with vancomycin-resistant enterococcus, or children infected with respiratory syncytial or parainfluenza virus should be placed on contact precautions. Infection with some viruses, such as varicella or adenovirus, require droplet or airborne precautions in addition to contact precautions. Caregivers should remove gloves and gown before leaving the patient’s room, avoid contact with potentially contaminated items or environmental surfaces, and wash hands immediately with an antimicrobial agent or waterless antiseptic agent after touching patients placed on contact isolation status.

See also: isolation
References in periodicals archive ?
A shortage of single rooms and the threat of an expanding outbreak led to implementation of the following control measures: 1) intensive education of the staff on hospital hygiene, 2) nursing of all MRSA-positive patients in single rooms in contact isolation, preferably in the infectious diseases unit, 3) strict adherence to contact isolation precautions and minimal duration of hospitalization whenever an MRSA-positive patient was treated at the department of surgery (e.
For the next 3 months, the patient was cared for in contact isolation in a single room on a neurologic ward; we found no evidence of MRSA transmission to other patients on that ward.
Other patients were screened, and those found to be colonized were cared for in contact isolation until they could be admitted to the infectious diseases unit for decolonization.
The mainstays of our present policy involve continuous staff education, caring for MRSA-positive patients in single rooms in contact isolation, systematic screening of patients exposed to MRSA, including all patients transferred from hospitals abroad or with a known MRSA problem, and cohort nursing of MRSA-positive and exposed patients, at least in epidemic situations.
With this high-risk vector identified, we activated the hospital's new contact isolation policy.
Any patient admitted from a site known to have an MRSA problem is automatically placed in contact isolation pending an admission assessment.
The MRSApositive patient is held in contact isolation until the laboratory grows a negative culture.
During the first six months of 1987, just before the policy was introduced, we admitted an average of 15 nursing home patients each month who would have been candidates for contact isolation.