The passage of microorganisms suspended in the air on water droplets
or dust particles that enter the host by inhalation.
Freedom from infection or infectious material.
Arresting the growth or multiplication of bacteria. An antibiotic may
be classified as a bacteriostatic medication.
A technique based upon the premise that all body substances may contain
pathogens. Never touch with the bare hand anything wet that comes from
the body or body cavity. Protective gloves must be worn at all times
when there is contact with mucus membrane, nonintact skin, or body substances.
Body substances include blood, urine, feces, saliva, wound drainage,
or aspirated fluids.
The presence and multiplication of microorganisms without tissue invasion
or damage. The infected individual demonstrates no signs or symptoms
of infection, while the potential to infect others still exists.
The physical transfer of an organism between an infected or colonized
person and a susceptible host involving direct or indirect
contact. Indirect contact occurs when a patient comes in contact
with equipment contaminated with infectious microorganisms. Direct
contact occurs when an infected person transfers the organism directly
to a susceptible host. If a nurse touches a patient's wound and pathogenic
microorganisms come in contact with a cut on the nurse's hand, the nurse
becomes infected through direct transmission.
Inhalation of respiratory pathogenic microorganisms suspended on liquid
particles exhaled by someone already infected. For example, a patient
suffering from an upper respiratory infection sneezes, allowing pathogenic
microorganisms to exit the patient's body and be inhaled by another
person within close proximity.
microbial organism with the ability to cause disease. The greater the
organism's virulence (ability to grow and multiply), invasiveness (ability
to enter tissue), and pathogenicity (ability to cause disease), the
greater the possibility that the organism will cause an infection. Infectious
agents are bacteria, viruses, fungi, and parasites.
Techniques used to prevent or limit the spread of infection. Patients
diagnosed with an infectious disease are placed on isolation to prevent
the transmission of pathogens to others.
time between exposure to an infectious organism and the appearance of
clinical systems of disease.
Techniques used to control and to reduce the spread of pathogenic microorganisms.
A medical aseptic technique is hand washing.
of transfer by which the organism moves or is carried from one place
to another. The hands of the health care worker may carry bacteria from
one person to another.
staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is a microbe that adapted to changes in
the environment to compete for survival. Staphylococcus aureus, a common
organism, developed resistance to medication. Patients infected with
the resistant strain may remain infected or colonized for long periods.
The main mode of transmission is via the hands of the health care worker.
It is important to understand the appropriate method of protection and
control when providing nursing care for someone infected with MRSA.
acquired during hospitalization.
Any disease producing
that fits snugly over the nose and mouth of the health care worker and
filters out organisms as small as one micron. It is worn to prevent
contamination by airborne diseases such as tuberculosis.
An opening allowing the microorganism to enter the host.
Portals include body orifices, mucus membranes, or breaks in the skin.
Portals also result from tubes placed in body cavities, such as urinary
catheters, or from punctures produced by invasive procedures such as
intravenous fluid replacement.
place of exit providing a way for the microorganism to leave the reservoir.
For example, the microorganism may leave the reservoir through the nose
or mouth when someone sneezes or coughs. Microorganisms, carried away
from the body by feces, may also leave the reservoir of an infected
Individuals suffering from a weakened immune system and susceptible
to microorganism invasion are isolated to avoid exposure.
place where microorganisms can thrive and reproduce. For example, microorganisms
thrive in human beings, animals, and inanimate objects, such as water,
tabletops, and doorknobs.
A synthesis of universal precautions and body substance isolation
techniques designed to provide protection against the transmission of
bloodborne and other infectious microorganisms. These techniques are
applied to all individuals regardless of medical diagnosis.
Techniques used to destroy all pathogenic organisms before they
can enter the body. One surgical aseptic technique is sterilization
of surgical equipment. The principles of surgical asepsis apply when
invasive procedures involve placing equipment or instruments inside
the human body. The principles of surgical asepsis guide the nurse who
inserts a foley catheter (a sterile tube inserted to allow urine to
flow from the bladder) into the patient.
person who cannot resist a microorganism invading the body, multiplying,
and resulting in infection. The host is susceptible to the disease,
lacking immunity or physical resistance to overcome the invasion by
the pathogenic microorganism.
Barrier or isolation techniques, based upon knowledge of the mode of
transfer of an infectious organism, applied to control the spread of
the organism. An example of a transmission based precaution is wearing
protective gloves when handling body secretions infected with hepatitis
Techniques utilized with all patients, regardless of diagnosis,
to protect against bloodborne pathogens such as HIV and hepatitis B.
Universal precautions are applied to blood or any body fluid potentially
contaminated with blood.
The transfer of microorganisms by way of contaminated items. For
example, blood can carry hepatitis and HIV.
resistant Enterococcus (VRE) is an organism that resists the effects
of the antibiotic Vancomycin. For many patients infected with VRE,
there is no known effective medication. VRE is one of the common causes
of nosocomial infection and is easily transmitted on the hands of
the health care worker.
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