Occupational Exposures Infection Control And Standard Precautions

Kathy J. Rinnert

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The estimated 9.7 million people who receive care in emergency departments (EDs) each year in the United States represent a range of humanity that includes all age, racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic groups.1 The diverse patient population and unpredictable ED work environment combine to create special hazards for health care personnel and increase their risk of occupational exposure to infectious agents.

This chapter examines standard precautions, infection control practices, and occupational exposures for health care providers in the prehospital setting and the ED. Routes of infectious disease exposure, infectious disease precautions, and use of personal protective equipment (PPE) are also discussed. Finally, occupational exposures commonly encountered in the ED are reviewed.

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