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Br J Community Nurs. 2008 Jan;13(1):14-9.

Review of personal protection equipment used in practice.

Author information

  • 1School of Health Sciences, Swansea University, Wales. j.hinkin@swansea.co.uk


Standard precautions offer a consistent approach to infection control that does not rely on knowledge or suspicion of infection, and contributes to staff and patient safety by reducing the risk of exposure to potentially infectious material. One of the cornerstones of standard precautions is the appropriate use of personal protective equipment (PPE) whenever contact with blood or body fluids is anticipated. However, evidence suggests that compliance with standard precautions including correct use of PPE is inadequate. Demographic and epidemiological changes in the U.K., and the drive to provide more complex patient care outside acute hospitals may lead to increased infection risks for both patients and community healthcare workers. This review examines the importance and use of PPE by community nurses and discusses the implications for practice of poor compliance with standard precautions. Recommendations for practice will be made aimed at improving compliance with this important element of standard precautions.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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