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Precautions for patients & visitors

If you are placed on contact precautions it's because you have germs in or on your body that can spread easily in the hospital environment. Most of the time these germs won’t make you sick, but patients with weak immune systems are at greater risk.

Placing you on contact precautions informs the staff, so they can prevent the spread of these germs to other vulnerable patients by wearing a gown and gloves.

What staff will do if you are on contact precautions

  • Place you in a single room if available (the door can remain open), or you may be with other patients.
  • Wear a long-sleeved gown and gloves every time they are providing direct care to you or having a lot of contact with your environment.
  • Place a sign on your door to remind others who enter your room about the special precautions.
  • Clean and disinfect your room and equipment regularly.
  • Clean their hands every time they leave your room.

What family & visitors need to do if you are on contact precautions

Family members and visitors are required to wear a gown and gloves only when they provide direct care to you (for example, assisting with bathing, toileting, changing incontinent products, and caring for wounds). Feeding or pushing a wheelchair is not considered direct care.

Before leaving your room, visitors must remove the gloves and gown and throw them in a garbage/linen container located in your room. Then they must clean their hands. Your family and visitors should not help other patients with their personal care as this may cause the germ to spread.  

How can you protect your family when you go home from hospital?

If you had germs that placed you on contact precautions when you were in the hospital, the chance of spreading the germ to your family is small as long as you practice good hand hygiene habits.
  • Ensure that everyone who assists with your personal hygiene washes his or her hands after contact with you.
  • Wash your hands before you make any food and before you eat.
  • Wash your hands well after using the toilet. Make sure others that use the bathroom or sneeze, cough or blow their nose wash their hands well afterwards.
  • Clean your clothes in the same manner as the rest of the household laundry.
  • Use common household disinfectants and routine cleaning for your home. Special cleaning of furniture or items (e.g. dishes) are not required.
  • Always tell your physician, paramedics, nurses or other care providers that you have a germ requiring contact precautions, to help prevent its spread to others.
SOURCE: Precautions for patients & visitors ( )
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