Isolation Guidelines

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  • Caring for Equipment, Bagging Articles in Isolation Room

    Bagging of used articles from an isolation/precaution room is intended to prevent inadvertent exposure of personnel to articles contaminated with infective material and prevent contamination of the environment.


    • Don gown, gloves, and mask as indicated.
    • Open clean bag (paper or clear plastic) outside room on chair or have someone outside room hold bag). Brown paper bag is to be used for articles and equipment that can be steam autoclaved such as hinged instruments; a clear plastic bag is to be used for equipment that must be gas autoclaved. Special Procedure tray linens should be placed in the linen hamper; all 4x4s, cotton balls, etc. visibly contaminated with blood or body fluids should be disposed of in the medical waste container (red can). All opened packages should be disposed of in the regular trash.
    • Discard disposable sharps in a sharps container box.
    • Reusable small or sharp equipment should be placed in a small basin before placing in bag.
    • Wash soiled equipment with a germicidal solution; rinse and dry with a paper towel.
    • Place articles in appropriate bag (refer to Step 2). Fold over top edge of bag twice.
    • Label clean bag with small Isolation label and name of unit. Place in Soiled Utility Room.
    • Equipment will be picked up by Central Sterile¬†Services.

    Terminal cleaning of room

    Terminal cleaning of the patient room is to occur when a patient with VRE is discharged.

    Certain epidemiologic aspects of environmental transmission should be kept in mind by personnel involved with terminal cleaning. Under the circumstances noted above, there are infection control issues related to the environment. Although micro-organisms may be present on walls, and floors in rooms used for patients on isolation/precautions, these environmental surfaces, unless visibly contaminated, are rarely associated with transmission of infections to others.


    Washing of walls, blinds, and curtains should be washed. Clean rod if there is one. Cubicle curtains should be changed.


    In contrast, micro-organisms on contaminated patient-care equipment are frequently associated with transmission of infections to other patients when such equipment is not appropriately decontaminated and reprocessed. Therefore, terminal cleaning should primarily be directed toward those items that have been in direct contact with the patient or in contact with the patient's infective material (excretions, secretions, blood or body fluids).


    • Environmental Services will clean the room according to their procedures for isolation.
    • Egg crate mattresses from isolation rooms can be disposed of after careful placement in a sealed plastic trash bag. If the egg crate is soiled with blood or body fluids, it should be disposed of in a large medical waste container (red can). Egg crates should not be placed in the trash chute.
    • After the room has been cleaned and inspected by the Environmental Services manager, it is the responsibility of the nursing staff to remove the isolation sign from the door.