Frequently Asked Questions on Infection Control

What are the guidelines for proper barriers when handling any contaminated materials?

You must select the type of personal protective equipment based on the degree of exposure anticipated. In order to handle contaminated items without risk of splashing, spilling, or spattering, heavy-duty gloves should be worn. For procedures in which contaminated droplets may be generated, mask, eye protection, and coverings such as gowns or lab coats should be worn.

Should face masks be changed with each patient whether there is visible contamination or not?

Yes, face masks should not only be changed between patients but they should also be changed anytime they become wet. The outer surface of the mask can become contaminated with infectious droplets from spray of oral fluids or from touching the mask with contaminated fingers. Also, when a mask becomes wet from exhaled moist air, the resistance to airflow through the mask increases, causing more airflow to pass around edges of the mask.

What measures should be taken to prevent infections while visiting a patient?

The first thing you can do to protect the patient you are visiting is to wash your hands. Also, it is very important to cover your cough. Please do not go to visit the patient if you are sick or have signs or symptoms of infection (e.g. fever, cough, skin rash etc.). In some situations, you may be asked to wear gloves, gowns, or masks for added protection.

What does PPE stand for?

PPE stands for personal protective equipment. PPE means any device or appliance designed to be worn or held by an individual for protection against one or more health and safety hazards.