Nosocomial infection

Infection Prevention and Control Measures in the Emergency Department

Every year, over 3 million patients, including many cases of transmissible infections, arrive at Québec's emergency departments on foot or by ambulance. In Québec, reference documents are available on emergency department organization and design. However, at present, there are few recommendations for infection prevention and control (IPC) in the literature that focus on practice in an emergency care setting.

This document has been prepared in connection with Action 8 of the Ministère de la Santé et des Services sociaux' (MSSS) Plan d'action sur la prévention et le contrôle des infections nosocomiales 2010-2015 [2010-2015 Action plan for healthcare-associated infections prevention and control]. Its purpose is to make recommendations for IPC in the emergency departments of Québec's hospitals. The recommendations are primarily intended for general and specialized hospital centres. They will have to be adapted according to the facility's mission, the patien…

Comité sur les infections nosocomiales du Québec

Divider curtains and infection risk

Divider curtains are often used in health care settings to surround patient’s bed and provide privacy. Many factors contribute to the concern that these curtains are a potential source for the transmission of pathogenic microorganisms: 1) caregivers and patients touch curtains frequently; 2) in some settings, curtains are not often cleaned or changed; 3) health care workers and patients who handle curtains do not necessarily cleanse their hands before (or after) touching them.

In May 2011, the Comité sur les infections nosocomiales du Québec (CINQ) was asked to provide its opinion on the frequency of cleaning and the precautions to be taken to ensure the safe handling of divider curtains. The purpose of this document is to review the evidence on the role of divider curtains in the transmission of pathogens in health care settings and to provide recommendations for the cleaning and handling of divider curtains.

Comité sur les infections nosocomiales du Québec

Precautions contact +

  • Visitors must show up at the nursing station prior to enter the room. 
  • The patient must stay in the room.
  • Always wear gloves when in the room. Throw them in the garbage before leaving the room.
  • Always wear a long-sleeved gown when in the room. Take it off before leaving the room.
  • Proceed to antiseptic handwashing when leaving the room.
  • Reserve the medical equipment for the patient’s exclusive use, or disinfect it if it is being used for several patients.
Comité sur les infections nosocomiales du Québec

I wash my hands step by step

  1. Wet hands.
  2. Add 3 to 5 mL of soap or antiseptic solution.
  3. Scrub hands palm to palm.
  4. Scrub right hand’s palm on the back of the left hand, and vice versa.
  5. Scrub palm to palm, interlacing fingers.
  6. Scrub outer side of the fingers against the palm of the opposite hand.
  7. Scrub thumbs rotatively.
  8. Scrub fingertips of each hand in opposite palm.
  9. Rince and dry hands using paper towels; turn off water using the paper.
Comité sur les infections nosocomiales du Québec