Routine Practices In The Community

Fact Sheet

What are ‘Routine Practices’?

  • Some infections can be spread from one person to another through with a person’s body fluids. ‘Body fluids’ include a person’s blood, tears, saliva, nasal discharge, urine, semen, vaginal fluid, and liquid bowel movement.
  • You cannot tell from looking at people if they have an infection that can be spread through their body fluids. That is why you need to use Routine Practices.
  • Routine Practices prevent with others’ body fluids. Routine Practices are the same in all places for all people. However, the descriptions may vary between settings.

top of page

Wash Your Hands

  • Wash your hands before and after touching other people.
  • Wash your hands for 30 seconds after coming in contact with blood or other body fluids.
  • Wash your hands after with any item soiled with body fluids.
  • Wash your hands right after removing gloves.

top of page

Wear Gloves

  • Wear latex or rubber gloves before giving first aid.
  • Wear gloves at other times when your hands are likely to come in with:
    • body fluids
    • mucous membranes (mouth, eyes, nose, etc.)
    • broken skin (cuts, scrapes, burns, etc.).
  • Wear gloves when handling items or touching surfaces that are soiled with body fluids.
  • Gloves can be made of latex, nitrile, or synthetic rubber.

top of page

Use Protective Barriers

Use other protective barriers when needed. For example:

  • Wear a gown or apron if your clothing is likely to be soiled with body fluids. Remove your gown as soon as possible afterwards, then wash your hands.
  • Protect yourself against sexually transmitted diseases. Use condoms and practice safer sex.
  • Cover all open or moist cuts or sores with a clean, dry bandage. Replace the bandage if it becomes wet or dirty.
  • Protect your eyes, nose and mouth from splashes of body fluids. If a splash does happen, wash it away as quickly as possible and see a doctor right away.
  • Avoid sharing personal items such as razors and toothbrushes.

top of page

Handle Sharp Objects Safely

  • Never share needles for injections.
  • Place used sharps, such as needles used for injections, in a specially designed container.
  • If you come across a used needle in a community setting, Contact Us to find out what to do. If you must move it so that no one else will be injured, be very careful not to stick yourself.

top of page

Clean Properly

  • Be careful when you handle materials and equipment that are soiled with body fluids so that you don’t get the body fluids on other items.
  • In case of spills of body fluids such as blood;
    • Wipe up the spill with paper towels.
    • Sanitize all surfaces using a mixture of 1 part bleach to 9 parts water.
    • Allow the bleach mixture to be in with the surface for 10 minutes.
    • Wipe dry with a fresh paper towel.
    • Place soiled clothing and washables in a plastic bag and seal the bag. Use a second plastic bag if it is likely to leak. Launder as soon as possible in the normal fashion.
    • Wash your hands.

top of page

Report Incidents

  • If you are exposed to someone else's body fluids (e.g., through a needlestick injury, a splash, or a human bite that breaks the skin), your doctor or local emergency room right away for advice.

top of page