Universal Precautions List

Housekeeping and infection

  • Frequent dusting and vacuuming help stop the build-up of dirt and bacteria. Keep the kitchen and bathroom as clean as possible. Use bleach or disinfectant soaps for cleaning in these areas.

In the kitchen

  • Cover and refrigerate foods that can spoil; don't use spoiled food.
  • Clean the tops of cans before opening them.
  • Wash fruits and vegetables before serving.
  • Use hot water and soap to clean cutting boards and other surfaces that have come in contact with raw meat.
  • Frequently wipe cooking and eating surfaces.
  • Mop the floors regularly.
  • Dispose of garbage daily.

In the bathroom

  • Flush toilet after every use.
  • Hang towels out to dry and replace with clean ones regularly.
  • Clean the toilet and mop the floor frequently.
  • Dispose daily of sanitary napkins, bandages or other things that may contain bodily fluids.
  • Be sure the plumbing is kept in good repair. Standing water can lead to the growth of bacteria.

Guidelines for Universal Precautions

  • Provide disposable latex gloves for your personal assistant (PA) to use whenever he or she may come into contact with body fluids or wastes or open sores. Advise your PA to do those tasks that require gloves all at the one time so he or she does not have to keep taking the gloves on and off.
  • Teach your PA to follow the guidelines below to prevent the spread of infectious diseases.
  • Wear latex gloves when there is a chance of being in contact with blood, semen, vaginal secretions, mucous membranes, or other body fluids (for example, during catheter care, when disposing of sanitary napkins, handling dirty laundry, cleaning a bathroom, or assisting with menstrual care, bowel care, and toileting). Wearing gloves is especially important when you have a wound or rash or opening in the skin on your hands.
  • Wash your hands carefully with soap and water before putting on the gloves and immediately after taking off the gloves. Immediately wash carefully any time you get blood or other body fluids on yourself.
  • Wash your hands before and after you go to the bathroom, prepare food, perform personal care and housecleaning tasks, and after physical contact with others. Use a nailbrush to scrub your hands. Paper towels are safest for drying; do not use damp towels to dry your hands.
  • Protect yourself and others by not preparing or handling food when you are ill or have open sores.
  • Use a mild bleach solution (ten parts water to one part bleach) to clean up blood or other body fluids. Clean up spills immediately. Also use the bleach solution to soak or disinfect possibly contaminated surfaces, linens, clothing, or other objects. Be careful using bleach since it can remove color.
  • Avoid handling sharp objects (such as razors or needles) that might have come in contact with blood or body fluids. Carefully place them in a puncture-resistant container for disposal.
  • Wash most soiled laundry in a washer set on hot and dry them in a dryer set on high. If they will be damaged at the highest heat, wash them according to manufacturer's instructions.
  • Do not eat, drink, apply cosmetics, or handle contact lenses in areas where exposure to blood or other body fluids is possible.
  • Wash dishes and utensils in hot, soapy water, rinse in very hot water and air dry.
  • Notify those around you if you are ill or have a condition that might be contagious.

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