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Standard Infection Control Precautions (DOC)

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									                     Standard Infection Control Precautions (SICPs) Policies
                          Date of issue: April 2009 Date of re-issue: April 2011

1) What are Standard Infection Control Precautions?
Standard Infection Control Precautions are designed to prevent cross transmission from recognised
and unrecognised sources of infection. These sources of (potential) infection include blood and other
body fluids secretions or excretions (excluding sweat), non-intact skin or mucous membranes and any
equipment or items in the care environment which are likely to become contaminated.

2) Why are Standard Infection Control Precautions necessary?
They are necessary to ensure the safety of patients/clients, health/social care workers and those who
visit the care environment.

3) When should Standard Infection Control Precautions be applied?
Standard Infection Control Precautions should be applied at all times within a health and social care
setting or where health and social care is being provided and must underpin all health and social care
activities. The application of SICPs during care delivery is determined by:

        • the   level of interaction between the health/social care worker and the patient/client;

        • the   anticipated level of exposure to blood or other body fluids.

4) How do the elements of Standard Infection Control Precautions relate to Transmission
Based Precautions?
The “ten SICP elements” must underpin all health and social care activities. However, SICPs cannot prevent
infection transmission from all infectious agents and consequently when specific infectious agents are
suspected or known (e.g. Clostridium difficile) additional Transmission Based Precautions (TBPs) are required
(i.e. droplet, contact and/or airborne precautions).

5) Who should use Standard Infection Control Precautions policies?
The policies should be used by all health and social care workers during direct and indirect
patient/client care procedures, and for all procedures required to ensure the safe maintenance of the
care environment. The policies can be used to:

        • ensure    the minimum set of infection control policies are in place;

        • ensure    the content in local policies is current and comprehensive;

        • inform   the basis of local policy development or used in their entirety.

6) What are the objectives of these policies?
It is intended that these policies will:

        • provide   a common, consistent approach to infection prevention and control;

        • prevent   duplication of effort and therefore reduce time spent on policy development.

They intend to provide evidence based guidance where possible. (A standardised scientific
methodology has been applied to literature reviewing and critiquing of the evidence base to inform the
policies).

The policies are designed to be used in conjunction with other initiatives and activities already underway in
many local and national settings. Those using them should take account of the other pieces of work they are
directed to within the literature reviews and policies, and also take account of local situations.

								
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