The below guidelines are based on assumption that all blood, body fluids (except sweat and tears), secretions, excretions, non-intact skin, undiagnosed rashes and areas such as eyes, nose and mouth may be potentially infectious, even if a person shows no symptoms of illness.

These routine practices are to be followed to reduce the risk of transmission of infection to the client and the Personal Service Worker (PSW).

To use with all clients during all service delivery:

Hand Hygiene (Handwashing or Hand Sanitizer)

Should be performed:

  • between clients
  • before performing invasive procedures
  • after contact with blood, body fluids, secretions and excretions
  • after contact with items known, or considered likely, to be contaminated with blood, body fluids, secretions, or excretions
  • immediately prior to and after removing gloves
  • between procedures on the same client in which soiling of hands is likely, to avoid cross-contamination of body sites

When hands are visibly soiled, must wash hands using water and liquid soap.

Gloves (not a substitute for hand hygiene)

Should be worn:

  • for contact with blood, body fluids, secretions, excretions, mucous membranes, or non-intact skin
  • when handling items visibly soiled with blood, body fluids, secretions and excretions
  • when the Personal Service Worker has non-intact skin on the hands
  • changed between procedures with the same clients and between clients
  • single-use disposable gloves should not be reused or washed

Face Protection and Gowns

  • Worn when likely to generate splashes or sprays of blood, body fluids, excretions, secretions
  • Protects mucous membranes of the eyes, nose and mouth, uncovered skin and prevents soiling of clothing

Equipment (Articles that touch the client’s intact skin must be clean)

  • Equipment used for more than one client must be cleaned and disinfected or sterilized as appropriate between clients
  • Soiled client care equipment must be handled in a manner to prevent exposure of skin and mucous membranes and contamination of clothing and the environment
  • Used needles and other sharp instruments must be handled with care to avoid injuries during disposal. Needles must not be recapped prior to disposal. Used sharp items disposed in an approved sharps container located in the area where the sharps item is used.

Adapted with permission from Durham Region Health Department January 2013

Source: Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, Infection Prevention and Control Best Practices for Personal Services Settings.

January 2009