Contact Precautions

What is it? 

Contact is the most common transmission mode and usually involves transmission by touch or contact with blood or bodily substances. 

Contact may be direct or indirect

Direct contact occurs when infectious agents are transferred from one person to another. For example, a resident's blood enters a healthcare worker's body through an unprotected cut in the skin.

Indirect contact involves the transfer of an infectious agent through a contaminated intermediate object or person. For example, a healthcare worker's hands transmitting infectious agents after touching an infected body site on a resident and not performing hand hygiene before touching another resident, or a healthcare worker coming into contact with fomites, e.g., bedding or faeces, and then having contact with another resident.

Examples of infections that can be transmitted through contact are

Multi-resistant organisms (MRO/MDROs)

Clostridioides difficile

Norovirus Highly contagious skin infections or infestations (e.g., impetigo, scabies)

Contact Precautions

In addition to standard precautions, including hand hygiene, contact precautions include

Appropriate use of personal protective equipment, including gloves for all contact with residents, equipment, and surfaces, a fluid-resistant apron or gown if contact with the patient or their immediate environment is likely, and a fluid-resistant surgical mask and eye protection if a splash is likely

Segregating residents with suspected infectious diseases as appropriate and feasible

Communicating the resident's infectious status to other healthcare workers enables appropriate transmission-based precautions to be maintained

Ensuring that infected or colonised areas of the resident's body are contained and covered if transferred between rooms or to another facility is necessary