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HIV 101: Essential Elements of Standard Precautions in the Correctional Setting

July/August 2004

Hand washingHands should be washed after touching any body fluids, after removing gloves, and between patient contacts.
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)PPE should be readily accessible in all patient care areas, housing units, transportation vehicles, the laundry, and anywhere that staff are likely to come into contact with inmate/patients.
  • Gloves, standard disposableTo prevent contact with blood, body fluid, mucous membranes, nonintact skin, and contaminated items.
  • Gloves, thick utility or gloves with wire meshTo protect staff from sharps injury during the performance of clothed body searches and housing searches.
  • Masks and respiratorsTo protect mucous membranes of the mouth from splashes or sprays of blood and body fluids, and to avoid inhalation of airborne diseases.
  • GownsTo protect skin and clothing from intentional or accidental splashes or sprays of blood and other body fluids.
  • Face shields, gogglesTo protect mucous membranes of the mouth, eyes, and nose from intentional or accidental splashes or sprays of blood and other body fluids.
Sharps (lancets, needles, syringes, scalpels, tattoo equipment, razor blades, stabbing instruments, etc.)Used sharps should always be placed immediately in puncture resistant containers. Sharps should not be passed from person to person. Sharps containers should be available in all areas where sharps are used. Those who conduct body searches and housing searches should be taught techniques to avoid being injured by hidden sharps. Tongs to pick up sharps and mirrors to visualize hidden areas can be used during searches. Pocket-sized puncture-proof evidence containers can be used to carry sharps discovered during searches.
HousingInmate/patients who cannot or will not maintain appropriate hygiene should be placed in single cell housing.
LaundryTreat all laundry as if it is contaminated; prevent contact with skin and mucous membranes. Use PPE.
HousekeepingProcedures for cleaning and disinfection of equipment, furniture, and the environment should incorporate the use of PPE and techniques to minimize the transfer of microorganisms.


  
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This article was provided by Brown Medical School. It is a part of the publication HEPP Report.
 

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