Airborne precautions: Infection prevention and control interventions to be used in addition to standard precautions for diseases spread by airborne transmission, such as measles and tuberculosis.
Asepsis: A state of being free of disease-causing microorganisms.
Aseptic non-touch technique: A standardized technique, supported by evidence, to maintain asepsis and standardize practice.
Aseptic technique (medical asepsis): The purposeful reduction of pathogen numbers while preventing microorganism transfer from one person or object to another. This technique is commonly used to perform invasive procedures, such as IV starts or urinary catheterization.
Contact precautions: Infection prevention and control interventions to be used in addition to standard precautions for diseases spread by contact with the patient, their body fluids, or their surroundings, such as C-diff, MRSA, VRE, and RSV.
Doff: To take off or remove personal protective equipment, such as gloves or a gown.
Don: To put on equipment for personal protection, such as gloves or a gown.
Droplet precautions: Infection prevention and control interventions to be used in addition to standard precautions; used for diseases spread by large respiratory droplets such as influenza, COVID-19, or pertussis.
Five moments of hand hygiene: Hand hygiene should be performed during the five moments of patient care: immediately before touching a patient; before performing an aseptic task or handling invasive devices; before moving from a soiled body site to a clean body site on a patient; after touching a patient or their immediate environment; after contact with blood, body fluids, or contaminated surfaces (with or without glove use); and immediately after glove removal.
Hand hygiene: A way of cleaning one’s hands to substantially reduce the number of pathogens and other contaminants (e.g., dirt, body fluids, chemicals, or other unwanted substances) to prevent disease transmission or integumentary harm, typically using soap, water, and friction. An alcohol-based hand rub solution may be appropriate hand hygiene for hands not visibly soiled.
Healthcare-Associated Infections (HAIs): Unintended infections caused by care received in a health care setting.
Key part: Any sterile part of equipment used during an aseptic procedure, such as needle hubs, syringe tips, dressings, etc.
Key site: The site contacted during an aseptic procedure, such as nonintact skin, a potential insertion site, or an access site used for medical devices connected to the patients. Examples of key sites include the insertion or access site for intravenous (IV) devices, urinary catheters, and open wounds.
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE): Personal protective equipment, such as gloves, gowns, face shields, goggles, and masks, used to prevent transmission of disease from patient to patient, patient to health care provider, and health care provider to patient.
Standard precautions: The minimum infection prevention practices that apply to all patient care, regardless of suspected or confirmed infection status of the patient, in any setting where health care is delivered.
Sterile technique (surgical asepsis): Techniques used to eliminate every potential microorganism in and around a sterile field while maintaining objects and areas as free from microorganisms as possible. This technique is the standard of care for surgical procedures, invasive wound management, and central line care.