Preventing The Spread of infection Lecture

Dynamic eLearning provides training for Healthcare Professionals with regard to Infection Control.

This system has been successful but it is dependent on co-operation from all personnel. This document has been prepared to advise and guide you of the actions you must take to protect your patients, yourself and visitors.


Communicable Disease Surveillance policies are required by law for all persons carrying on activities in the institution. In the event of exposure, there is a need to provide timely information on your status, in order to determine whether you or your patients may be at risk of infections.


You are required to have blood tests to determine your serologic status and: 

  1. a) If you are susceptible, be vaccinated against:
  • Rubella (German measles)
  • Rubeola (Red measles)


  1. b) You shall know your own serologic status to:
  • Varicella (Chickenpox)

If you are susceptible to varicella, report any exposure at home or work. Avoid caring for patients with shingles, chickenpox or disseminated zoster.


It is also required that you participate in the Tuberculosis surveillance protocol:

  • Tuberculosis (TB) requires initial screening, continuing annual surveillance and contact follow-up for all staff.


The following are highly recommended:

  • Hepatitis B vaccine (to protect yourself)
  • Yearly influenza vaccine (flu shot) (to protect your patients)
  • Report to the Occupational Health and Safety Department


Suffered a needle stick or other sharps injury

  • Been exposed to blood or bodily fluids
  • Been exposed to (at home or work) someone with an infectious disease such as:
  • Meningitis
  • Chickenpox
  • Tuberculosis


  • Been asked to do so by Infection Control
  • Diarrhoea and/or vomiting while at work
  • Fever >38 C with respiratory symptoms or fever > than 38 C and feeling unwell or been diagnosed with pneumonia


  1. Standards of patient care practice will minimize the risk of transmission of infections to patients: Routine Practises (Body Substance Precautions) is a system of practice which requires all health care workers to consider all body substances (blood, body fluids, secretions, excretions, drainage) from all patients as potentially infectious. The following workplace standards will be maintained by all health care workers for contact with all patients all the time.
  • Hand Washing: Wash hands for 10 seconds before and after patient contact, after touching contaminated equipment or surfaces, after examining a dirty body area (e.g. wound) and before examining a clean body area (e.g. eye) on the same patient, and after removing gloves.


  • Gloves: Glove for anticipated contact with mucous membranes, non-intact skin, moist body substances and undiagnosed rashes for ALL patients ALL the time. Wash hands after removing gloves. Report to Occupational Health if skin irritation occurs


  • Gowns, Masks, and Goggles: Wear a cover gown, mask or goggles as necessary for procedures in which you are at risk of being splashed with moist body substances from any patient.


  • Handling of Sharps: Discard sharps in disposal container provided. Avoid recapping needles. If recapping is necessary, use a one-handed method of recapping to avoid injury. You are required to remove all sharps from procedure trays you have used. Pass needles or sharp instruments in a way to avoid injury to others.


  • Lab specimens: Send specimens to the lab safely:
  1. Assure that all specimen collection containers are closed securely
  2. Put all specimens in a zip-lock plastic bag and the requisitions in the outer envelope of the bag
  • Specimens sent to laboratories with needles attached will not be processed. If a specimen has been collected using a needle and you are concerned about losing it, call the specific lab for details



Diseases or infections spread by the Airborne Route: When patients are suspected or confirmed to have diseases spread by the airborne route a room with a specific air handling unit is required.


Common diseases transmitted by the airborne route include:

  • Tuberculosis
  • Chickenpox
  • Disseminated Herpes zoster (shingles)


Multidrug-resistant organisms: are becoming more prevalent in health care institutions. The two resistant organisms of greatest concern currently are Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and Vancomycin-resistant Enterococci (VRE). Both organisms are easily transmitted in the hospital, and both have occurred in Toronto health care facilities. These organisms are more common in the United States and other countries than in Canada.


You can help control the spread of these organisms by:

  1. Optimal handwashing
  2. Cleaning shared equipment appropriately (e.g. wiping your stethoscope with alcohol between patients.)
  3. Calling the Infection Control office at 3118, and leave a message when you admit anyone who has been hospitalized outside of Canada in the last year (including a direct transfer from an out of country hospital). Infection Control will arrange for epidemiological surveillance for MRSA and VRE for these patients.
  4. Being aware that some of your patients, at any given time might be screened for MRSA or VRE as part of routine surveillance for these organisms.


*When a patient is identified as being infected or colonized with a multidrug-resistant organism, specific precaution standards will be initiated, managed and discontinued only by Infection Control.


Cleaning, Disinfection, and Sterilization of Reusable Equipment and Material: Reusable patient-care materials, devices or equipment can transmit organisms if not properly reprocessed according to accepted standards. For those whose practice is on site at Mount Sinai, you are expected to comply with those standards approved by Infection Control. The Infection Control Team is available to assist anyone requiring help in establishing standards in your area.