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DMC Infection Control Precautions for Flu

1. Use STANDARD and DROPLET precautions for routine medical care of patients with confirmed or probable influenza, or influenza-like illness.

  • Standard precautions include hand hygiene. When contact with body fluids is anticipated, a gown, gloves and eye protection should be worn.
  • Droplet  precautions include wearing a surgical mask during direct patient care activities (upon room entry and/or within six feet of the patient)
  • Isolation can be discontinued in patients with suspected influenza, if influenza PCR testing is negative and there is a low level of clinical suspicion and/or an alternative diagnosis.
  • Isolation can be discontinued in patients with confirmed influenza after seven days of symptoms onset, if symptoms have resolved or until 24 hours following resolution of fever and respiratory symptoms, whichever is longer. In immunocopromised patients, isolation should be maintained for the duration of illness, based on clinical judgment and infection control recommendations.

2. If a patient is outside of his room, s/he must wear a surgical mask.

3. Aerosol-generating procedures (e.g., bronchoscopy, intubation and extubation, deep open tracheal suctioning, chest physiotherapy, CPR, etc.)

  • Should be performed, in a negative pressure airborne infection isolation room.
  • Disposable fit-tested N95 respirators and eye protection (goggles or face shield) should be worn by health care personnel performing these procedures.

4. N95 masks require fit testing.  If you have not been fit tested within the past year and feel that you will need an N95 mask for aerosol-generating procedures please contact Occupational Health.  N95 masks cannot be used with beards, and bearded healthcare workers might need to consider shaving, if necessary for safe patient care.

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