Universal Precautions Signs

Introduction to universal precautions

Universal precautions are also called standard precautions and are widely practiced in the health care system.

These are the precautions used to avoid direct contact of health professionals with the bodily fluids of the patients coming to the hospital. Body fluids include blood and its all products, saliva, urine, semen, breast milk, lymph, amniotic fluid, bile, gastric fluid, and others.

Importance of universal precautions

Health professionals including doctors, nurses, laboratory workers, housekeeping, and all paramedics are at a greater risk of acquiring hospital infections from patients while handling the body fluids of these patients.

A number of HIV, Hep B and C, malaria, tuberculosis, salmonella, and many other serious infectious diseases have been seen to be increased in healthcare providers mainly because of carelessness by them while working in hospitals.

To help these healthcare providers, it is mandatory for them to follow universal precautions during their working hours. These precautions are necessary to follow regardless of any situation.

History of standard precautions

Standard or universal health precautions started to be practiced in the 80s because of the same reason mentioned above. A lot of nurses and doctors were bringing diagnosed with infectious diseases and it became necessary to follow the health precautions since then.

Universal precautions

Now we will go through all the universal precautions one by one and explain them for better understanding and easy following.

Use barrier protection

This means the health care provider whoever he is, has to cover the open wounds before manipulating them. This also applies to emergency situations where these things are often forgotten and then is the time when people get infected and transfer the infections to others.

Wear gloves

It is important for all doctors and paramedics to wear nonporous substances like gloves before handling any bodily fluids of the patients. This reduces the chances of infection to a great level.

Wear a face mask or a gown

Wearing a face mask and a gown is also one of the important universal precautions must for a health professional to avoid droplet infections through a mask and any other infection with the help of a gown over your own scrubs.

Important Cautions

Special care and caution have been advised to avoid any hazardous incidence, especially while handling sharp objects like scissors, razors, needles, etc.

Discard contaminated material

Contaminated material is the one used by the patient or on the patient. This includes used syringes, needles, sample bottles, cotton swabs, sponges, bandages with blood and body fluids, gowns, and sheets. All such materials must ideally be discarded as soon as they are used and there is a proper way of discarding such material.


Disinfection of the area where any sort of examination, surgery, and sampling is done on the patient is very important. Proper cleaning ensures the killing of infectious agents and prevents the spread of infection.

Wash hands and clothes

Washing hands and clothing is very important after your work shift is over. Washing or sanitizing hand is one of the most important universal precautions.

Universal Precautions Signs

Simi Karton

Dr. Simi Karton currently resides in Los Angeles with her husband. This website is a voluntary work of Dr. Karton to provide people with useful health-related information with a straightforward approach.

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