Isolation Guidelines

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  • How to Transport Isolated Patient to Other Areas for Tests and Procedures

    Limiting the movement and transport of patients infected with virulent or epidemiologically important micro-organisms and ensuring that such patients leave their rooms only for essential purposes reduces opportunities for transmission of microorganisms in hospitals.

    When patient transport is necessary, it is important that (1) appropriate barriers (e.g., masks, impervious dressings) are worn or used by the patient to reduce the opportunity for transmission of pertinent microorganisms to other patients, personnel, and visitors and to reduce contamination of the environment; (2) personnel in the area to which the patient is to be taken are notified of the impending arrival of the patient and of the precautions to be used to reduce the risk of transmission of infectious microorganisms; and, (3) patients are informed of ways by which they can assist in preventing the transmission of their infectious microorganisms to others.

    Patients on precautions should not be taken out of their isolation rooms for nonessential purposes. When it becomes necessary to transport the patient to another area of the hospital, appropriate barriers to prevent disease transmission should be utilized such as masks, gowns and gloves. These barriers should remain in place for the entire period the patient is out of the isolation room. Before transporting a patient on Airborne Precautions out of the isolation room, see Policy for Transporting Patients on Airborne Precautions.


    • Notify Ambassador Services and the area expecting patient that the patient requires isolation precautions.
    • Explain transportation procedure to patient.
    • Outside room, drape a clean sheet over the stretcher or wheelchair to cover entire area which will come in contact with patient.
    • Those accompanying patient must don gown mask, and gloves as indicated by type of isolation/precaution.
    • For non-vented patients on Airborne, Contact, or Droplet Precautions, patient’s nurse should place mask on patient. Carry a paper bag and specimen cup for disposal of respiratory secretions, if necessary.
    • Assist patient onto stretcher or wheelchair. Cover patient with a clean sheet or blanket obtained outside room. If patient must be transported in his bed, wipe exposed areas of bed with a germicide (head and foot of bed, handrails, areas which may be touched during transport) and cover the patient with a clean sheet. If a child needs to be transported, use an extra (clean) crib if at all possible.
    • The front of the patient's chart should be labeled with the appropriate isolation sticker.
    • After readying patient for transport, remove any isolation garb which has had direct contact with the patient or patient's environment and don fresh garb.
    • Transport patient to other area being careful to not touch elevator buttons, doorknobs, or handles with contaminated gloves. Ask others to push elevator buttons or do so with a part of the body unlikely to have been contaminated during the transport (e.g. an elbow).
    • Report to personnel receiving patient that the patient is on isolation, and make sure they know the precautions that are necessary.
    • When transportation of patient is completed, discard linen in plastic bag and remove garb as in procedure.
    • With clean gloves on, disinfect stretcher, wheelchair or bed (if an extra bed was used) with hospital disinfectant.
    • Remove gloves, cleanse hands.