NIPCM

National Infection Prevention and Control Manual

National Infection Prevention and Control Manual

Introduction

The NHSScotland National Infection Prevention and Control Manual  (NIPCM) was first published on 13 January 2012, by the Chief Nursing Officer (CNO (2012)1), and updated on 17 May 2012 (CNO (2012)1 Update). 

The NIPCM was endorsed on 3 April 2017 by the Chief Nursing Officer, Chief Medical Officer, Chief Pharmaceutical Officer and Chief Dental Officer.

This national manual provides guidance to all those involved in care provision and should be adopted for infection prevention and control practices and procedures. The national manual is mandatory for NHSScotland employees and applies to all NHSScotland healthcare settings. In all other care settings the content of this manual is considered best practice.

The manual aims to:

  • Make it easy for care staff to apply effective infection prevention and control precautions.
  • Reduce variation and optimise infection prevention and control practices throughout Scotland.
  • Help reduce the risk of Healthcare Associated Infection (HAI).
  • Help align practice, monitoring, quality improvement and scrutiny.

Disclaimer

Responsibilities

Responsibilities for the content of this manual

HPS must ensure:

  • that the content of this manual remains evidence based.

Responsibilities for the adoption and implementation of this manual

Organisations must ensure:

  • the adoption and implementation of this manual in accordance with their existing local governance processes;
  • systems and resources are in place to facilitate implementation and compliance monitoring of infection prevention and control as specified in this manual in all care areas. Compliance monitoring includes all staff (permanent, agency and where required external contractors); and
  • there is an organisational culture which promotes incident reporting and focuses on improving systemic failures that encourage safe working practices.

Managers of all services must ensure that staff:

  • are aware of and have access to this manual;
  • have had instruction/education on infection prevention and control through attendance at events and/or completion of training e.g. via NHS Education for Scotland (NES) and/or local board/organisation;
  • have adequate support and resources available to enable them to implement, monitor and take corrective action to ensure compliance with this manual;
  • with health concerns (including pregnancy) or who have had an occupational exposure are timeously referred to the relevant agency e.g. General Practitioner, Occupational Health or if required Accident and Emergency;
  • have undergone the required health checks/clearance (including those undertaking Exposure Prone Procedures (EPPs); and
  • include infection prevention and control as an objective in their Personal Development Plans (or equivalent).

Staff providing care must ensure that they:

  • understand and apply the principles of infection prevention and control set out in this manual;
  • maintain competence, skills and knowledge in infection prevention and control through attendance at education events and/or completion of training e.g. NHS Education for Scotland (NES) and/or local board/organisation;
  • communicate the infection prevention and control practices to be taken by colleagues, those being cared for, relatives and visitors without breaching confidentiality;
  • have up to date occupational immunisations/health checks/clearance requirements as appropriate;
  • report to line managers and document any deficits in knowledge, resources, equipment and facilities or incidents that may result in transmission of infection;
  • do not provide care while at risk of potentially transmitting infectious agents to others. If in any doubt they must consult with their line manager, Occupational Health Department, Infection Prevention and Control Team (IPCT) or Health Protection Team (HPT); and
  • contact HPT/IPCT if there is a suspected or actual HAI incident/outbreak.

Infection Prevention and Control Teams (IPCTs) and Health Protection Teams (HPTs) must:

  • engage with staff to develop systems and processes that lead to sustainable and reliable improvements in relation to the application of infection prevention and control practices;
  • provide expert advice on the application of infection prevention and control in the care setting and on individual risk assessments as required; and
  • have epidemiological/surveillance systems capable of distinguishing patient case(s) requiring investigations and control.

Chapter 1 - Standard Infection Control Precautions (SICPs)

10 must dos to prevent infection every patient, every care setting, every timebadgeStandard Infection Control Precautions (SICPs), covered in this chapter are to be used by all staff, in all care settings, at all times, for all patients1 whether infection is known to be present or not to ensure the safety of those being cared for, staff and visitors in the care environment.

SICPs are the basic infection prevention and control measures necessary to reduce the risk of transmission of infectious agent from both recognised and unrecognised sources of infection.

Sources of (potential) infection include blood and other body fluids secretions or excretions (excluding sweat), non-intact skin or mucous membranes and any equipment or items in the care environment that could have become contaminated.

The application of SICPs during care delivery is determined by an assessment of risk to and from individuals and includes the task, level of interaction and/or the anticipated level of exposure to blood and/or other body fluids.

To be effective in protecting against infection risks, SICPs must be used continuously by all staff. SICPs implementation monitoring must also be ongoing to ensure compliance with safe practices and to demonstrate ongoing commitment to patient, staff and visitor safety.

Further information on using SICPs for Care at Home can be found at http://www.nes.scot.nhs.uk/education-and-training/by-theme-initiative/healthcare-associated-infections/training-resources/preventing-infection-in-care-@-home.aspx

 

1The use of the word 'Persons' can be used instead of 'Patient' when using this document in non-healthcare settings.

 

1.1 Patient Placement/Assessment for infection risk

Badge showing image of patient in bed for patient placement.  Text says assess patients for infection risk and ensure they are cared for in a safe place

Patients must be promptly assessed for infection risk on arrival at the care area (if possible, prior to accepting a patient from another care area) and should be continuously reviewed throughout their stay. This assessment should influence placement decisions in accordance with clinical/care need(s).

Patients who may present a cross-infection risk include those:

  • With diarrhoea, vomiting, an unexplained rash, fever or respiratory symptoms.
  • Known to have been previously positive with a Multi-drug Resistant Organism (MDRO) e.g MRSA, CPE.
  • Who have been hospitalised outside Scotland in the last 12 months.

For assessment of infection risk see Section 2: Transmission Based Precautions.

Further information can be found in the patient placement literature review.

1.2 Hand Hygiene

Image of hand for practise good hand hygieneHand hygiene is considered an important practice in reducing the transmission of infectious agents which cause HAIs.

Before performing hand hygiene:

  • expose forearms;
  • remove all hand/wrist jewellery (a single, plain metal finger ring is permitted but should be removed (or moved up) during hand hygiene);
  • ensure finger nails are clean, short and that artificial nails or nail products are not worn; and
  • cover all cuts or abrasions with a waterproof dressing.

 

To perform hand hygiene:

Alcohol Based Hand Rubs (ABHRs) must be available for staff as near to point of care as possible. Where this is not practical, personal ABHR dispensers should be used.

Perform hand hygiene:

  1. before touching a patient;
  2. before clean/aseptic procedures. If ABHR cannot be used then antimicrobial liquid soap should be used;
  3. after body fluid exposure risk;
  4. after touching a patient; and
  5. after touching a patient’s immediate surroundings.

Wash hands with non-antimicrobial liquid soap and water if:

  • hands are visibly soiled or dirty;
  • caring for patients with vomiting or diarrhoeal illnesses; or
  • caring for a patient with a suspected or known gastro-intestinal infection e.g. norovirus or a spore forming organism such as Clostridium difficile.

In all other circumstances use ABHRs for routine hand hygiene during care.

(The video above demonstrating Hand Washing and Drying Technique was produced by NHS Ayrshire and Arran)

Hand wipes should not be used by staff in the hospital or care home setting for hand hygiene unless there is no running water available. Staff may use hand wipes followed by ABHR and should wash their hands at the first available opportunity.

Skin care:

  • Dry hands thoroughly after hand washing using disposable paper towels.
  • Use an emollient hand cream during work and when off duty.
  • Do not use or provide communal tubs of hand cream in the care setting.

Surgical Hand Antisepsis

Surgical scrubbing/rubbing: (applies to persons undertaking surgical and some invasive procedures)

Perform surgical scrubbing/rubbing before donning sterile theatre garments or at other times e.g. prior to insertion of vascular access devices.

  • Remove all hand/wrist jewellery.
  • Nail brushes (if used) must only be used for decontamination of nails. Nail picks can be used if nails are visibly dirty.
  • Use an antimicrobial liquid soap licensed for surgical scrubbing or an ABHR licensed for surgical rubbing (as specified on the product label).
  • ABHR can be used between surgical procedures if licensed for this use.

  • For surgical scrubbing technique see Appendix 3.
  • For surgical rubbing technique see Appendix 4

Hand Hygiene posters/leaflets can be found at http://www.washyourhandsofthem.com/home.aspx

Further information can be found in the Hand Hygiene literature reviews:

 

1.3 Respiratory and Cough Hygiene

undefinedRespiratory and cough hygiene is designed to minimise the risk of cross-transmission of respiratory illness (pathogens):

  • Cover the nose and mouth with a disposable tissue when sneezing, coughing, wiping and blowing the nose.
  • Dispose of all used tissues promptly into a waste bin.
  • Wash hands with non-antimicrobial liquid soap and warm water after coughing, sneezing, using tissues, or after contact with respiratory secretions or objects contaminated by these secretions.
  • Hand wipes should not be used by staff in the hospital or care home setting for hand hygiene unless there is no running water available. Staff may use hand wipes followed by ABHR and should wash their hands at the first available opportunity.
  • Keep contaminated hands away from the eyes nose and mouth.

Staff should promote respiratory and cough hygiene helping those (e.g. elderly, children) who need assistance with this e.g. providing patients with tissues, plastic bags for used tissues and hand hygiene facilities as necessary.

Further information can be found in the cough etiquette/respiratory hygiene literature review.

1.4 Personal Protective Equipment

undefinedBefore undertaking any procedure staff should assess any likely exposure and ensure PPE is worn that provides adequate protection against the risks associated with the procedure or task being undertaken.

All PPE should be:

  • located close to the point of use;
  • stored to prevent contamination in a clean/dry area until required for use (expiry dates must be adhered to);
  • single-use only items unless specified by the manufacturer; and
  • disposed of after use into the correct waste stream i.e. healthcare waste or domestic waste.

Reusable PPE items, e.g. non-disposable goggles/face shields/visors must have a decontamination schedule with responsibility assigned.

Gloves must be:

  • worn when exposure to blood and/or other body fluids is anticipated/likely;2
  • changed immediately after each patient and/or following completion of a procedure or task;
  • changed if a perforation or puncture is suspected; and
  • appropriate for use, fit for purpose and well-fitting to avoid excessive sweating and interference with dexterity.

Double gloving is recommended during some Exposure Prone Procedures (EPPs) e.g. orthopaedic and gynaecological operations or when attending major trauma incidents.

For appropriate glove use and selection see Appendix 5.

Further information can be found in the Gloves literature review.

Aprons must be:

  • worn to protect uniform or clothes when contamination is anticipated/likely e.g. when in direct care contact with a patient; and
  • changed between patients and/or following completion of a procedure or task.

Full body gowns/Fluid repellent coveralls must be:

  • worn when there is a risk of extensive splashing of blood and/or other body fluids e.g. in the operating theatre; and
  • changed between patients and immediately after completion of a procedure or task.

Further information can be found in the Aprons/Gowns literature review.

Eye/face protection (including full face visors) must be:

  • worn if blood and/or body fluid contamination to the eyes/face is anticipated/likely e.g. by members of the surgical theatre team and always during Aerosol Generating Procedures. Regular corrective spectacles are not considered eye protection.

Further information can be found in the eye/face protection literature review.

Fluid Resistant Type IIR surgical face masks must be:

  • worn if splashing or spraying of blood, body fluids, secretions or excretions onto the respiratory mucosa (nose and mouth) is anticipated/likely;
  • worn to protect patients from the operator as a source of infection e.g. when performing an epidural or inserting a Central Vascular Catheter (CVC);
  • well fitting and fit for purpose (fully covering the mouth and nose) (manufacturers’ instructions must be adhered to ensure effective fit/protection); and
  • removed or changed;
    • at the end of a procedure/task;
    • if the integrity of the mask is breached, e.g. from moisture build-up after extended use or from gross contamination with blood or body fluids; and
    • in accordance with specific manufacturers’ instructions.

Further information can be found in the surgical face masks literature review.

Footwear must be:

  • able to either withstand machine washing at 40°C or disinfection with a chlorine releasing agent. 
  • non-slip, clean and well maintained, and support and cover the entire foot to avoid contamination with blood or other body fluids or potential injury from sharps; and
  • removed before leaving a care area where dedicated footwear is used e.g. theatre.

Further information can be found in the footwear literature review

Headwear must be:

  • worn in theatre settings/clean rooms e.g. Central Decontamination Unit (CDU);
  • well fitting and completely cover the hair; and
  • changed/disposed of between clinical procedures/tasks or if contaminated with blood and/or body fluids.

For the recommended method of putting on and removing PPE see Appendix 6.

Further information can be found in the headwear literature review

2Scottish National Blood Transfusion Service (SNBTS) adopt practices that differ from those stated in the National Infection Prevention and Control Manual.

1.5 Safe Management of Care Equipment

undefined

Care equipment is easily contaminated with blood, other body fluids, secretions, excretions and infectious agents. Consequently it is easy to transfer infectious agents from communal care equipment during care delivery.

Care equipment is classified as either:

  • Single-use – equipment which is used once on a single patient and then discarded. Must never be reused even on the same patient. The packaging carries the symbol below.undefined
    • Needles and syringes are single use devices. They should never be used for more than one patient or reused to draw up additional medication.
    • Never administer medications from a single-dose vial or intravenous (IV) bag to multiple patients.
  • Single patient use – equipment which can be reused on the same patient.
  • Reusable invasive equipment - used once then decontaminated e.g. surgical instruments.
  • Reusable non-invasive equipment (often referred to as communal equipment) - reused on more than one patient following decontamination between each use e.g. commode, patient transfer trolley.

Before using any sterile equipment check that:

  • the packaging is intact;
  • there are no obvious signs of packaging contamination;and
  • the expiry date remains valid.

Decontamination of reusable non-invasive care equipment must be undertaken:

  • between each use;
  • after blood and/or body fluid contamination;
  • at regular predefined intervals as part of an equipment cleaning protocol; and
  • before inspection, servicing or repair.

Adhere to manufacturers’ guidance for use and decontamination of all care equipment.

All reusable non-invasive care equipment must be rinsed and dried following decontamination then stored clean and dry.

Decontamination protocols should include responsibility for; frequency of; and method of environmental decontamination.

An equipment decontamination status certificate will be required if any item of equipment is being sent to a third party e.g for inspection, servicing or repair.

Guidance may be required prior to procuring, trialling or lending any reusable non-invasive equipment. 

Further information can be found in the management of care equipment literature review.

For how to decontaminate reusable non-invasive care equipment see Appendix 7

 

1.6 Safe Management of Care Environment

undefinedIt is the responsibility of the person in charge to ensure that the care environment is safe for practice (this includes environmental cleanliness/maintenance). The person in charge must act if this is deficient.

The care environment must be:

  • visibly clean, free from non-essential items and equipment to facilitate effective cleaning;
  • well maintained and in a good state of repair; and
  • routinely cleaned in accordance with the Health Facilities Scotland (HFS) National Cleaning Specification:
    • A fresh solution of general purpose neutral detergent in warm water is recommended for routine cleaning. This should be changed when dirty or at 15 minutes intervals or when changing tasks.
    • Routine disinfection of the environment is not recommended. However, 1,000ppm available chlorine should be used routinely on sanitary fittings.

Staff groups should be aware of their environmental cleaning schedules and clear on their specific responsibilities.

Cleaning protocols should include responsibility for; frequency of; and method of environmental decontamination.

Further information can be found in the routine cleaning of the environment in hospital setting literature review

1.7 Safe Management of Linen

undefinedClean linen

  • Should be stored in a clean, designated area, preferably an enclosed cupboard.
  • If clean linen is not stored in a cupboard then the trolley used for storage must be designated for this purpose and completely covered with an impervious covering that is able to withstand decontamination.
  • Clean linen that is deemed unfit for re-use e.g. badly torn, should be disposed of locally or returned to the laundry for disposal.

Linen used during patient transfer

  • Any linen used during patient transfer e.g. blankets, should be categorised at the point of destination.

For all used linen (previously known as soiled linen):

  • Ensure a laundry receptacle is available as close as possible to the point of use for immediate linen deposit.
  • Do not:
    • rinse, shake or sort linen on removal from beds/trolleys;
    • place used linen on the floor or any other surfaces e.g. a locker/table top;
    • re-handle used linen once bagged;
    • overfill laundry receptacles; or
    • place inappropriate items in the laundry receptacle e.g. used equipment/needles.

For all infectious linen (this mainly applies to healthcare linen) i.e. linen that has been used by a patient who is known or suspected to be infectious and/or linen that is contaminated with blood and/or other body fluids e.g. faeces:

  • Place directly into a water-soluble/alginate bag and secure; then place into a plastic bag e.g. clear bag and secure before placing in a laundry receptacle. This applies also to any item(s) heavily soiled and unlikely to be fit for reuse.
  • Used and infectious linen bags/receptacles must be tagged e.g. ward/care area and date.
  • Store all used/infectious linen in a designated, safe, lockable area whilst awaiting uplift. Uplift schedules must be acceptable to the care area and there should be no build-up of linen receptacles.

Local guidance regarding management of linen may be available.   

Further information can be found in the safe management of linen literature review.

Further information about linen bagging and tagging can be found in Appendix 8.

1.8 Safe Management of Blood and Body Fluid Spillages

undefinedSpillages of blood and other body fluids may transmit blood borne viruses.

Spillages must be decontaminated immediately by staff trained to undertake this safely.

Responsibilities for the decontamination of blood and body fluid spillages should be clear within each area/care setting.

For management of blood and body fluid spillages see Appendix 9.

Further information can be found in the management of blood and body fluid in health and social care settings literature review.

 

 

 

1.9 Safe Disposal of Waste (including sharps)

undefinedScottish Health Technical Note (SHTN) 3: NHSScotland Waste Management Guidance contains the regulatory waste management guidance for NHSScotland including waste classification, segregation, storage, packaging, transport, treatment and disposal.

The Health and Safety (Sharp Instruments in Healthcare) Regulations 2013 outline the regulatory requirements for employers and contractors in the healthcare sector in relation to the safe disposal of sharps.

Categories of waste:

  • Healthcare (including clinical) waste – is produced as a direct result of healthcare activities e.g. soiled dressings, sharps.
  • Special (or hazardous) waste – arises from the delivery of healthcare in both clinical and non-clinical settings. Special waste includes a range of controlled wastes, defined by legislation, which contain dangerous or hazardous substances e.g. chemicals, pharmaceuticals.
  • Domestic waste – must be segregated at source into:
    • Dry recyclates (glass, paper and plastics, metals, cardboard).
    • Residual waste (any other domestic waste that cannot be recycled).

Waste Streams:

  • Black – Trivial risk:
    • Domestic waste or yellow and black stripes (small quantities of hygiene waste).
    • Final disposal to Landfill.
    • Clear/opaque receptacles may also be used for domestic waste at care area level.
  • Orange, Light Blue (laboratory) – Low risk3
    • Orange - consists of items which are contaminated or likely to be contaminated with blood and/or body fluids. Final disposal following heat disinfection is to landfill.
    • Light Blue – laboratory/microbiological waste that must be autoclaved before disposal via the orange stream.
  • Yellow– High risk:
    • Waste which poses ethical, highly infectious or contamination risks.
    • This includes anatomical and human tissue which is recognisable as body parts, medical devices and sharps waste boxes that have red, purple or blue lids.
    • Disposal is by specialist incineration.
  • Red – Special waste
    • Chemical waste.

For care/residential homes waste disposal may differ from the categories described above and guidance from local contractors will apply. Refer to SEPA guidance http://www.sepa.org.uk/waste.aspx.

Safe waste disposal at care area level:

Always dispose of waste:

  • immediately and as close to the point of use as possible; and
  • into the correct segregated colour coded UN 3291 approved waste bag (either orange/yellow for healthcare waste or black/clear/opaque for domestic) or container (sharps box).

Liquid waste e.g. blood must be rendered safe by adding a self-setting gel or compound before placing in a healthcare waste bag.

Waste bags must be no more than 3/4 full or more than 4 kgs in weight; and use a ratchet tag/or tape (for healthcare waste bags only) using a ‘swan neck’ to close with the point of origin and date of closure clearly marked on the tape/tag.

Store all waste in a designated, safe, lockable area whilst awaiting uplift. Uplift schedules must be acceptable to the care area and there should be no build-up of waste receptacles.

Sharps boxes must:

  • have a dedicated handle;
  • have a temporary closure mechanism, which must be employed when the box is not in use;
  • be disposed of when the manufacturers’ fill line is reached; and
  • be labelled with point of origin and date of closure.

Local guidance regarding management of waste at care level may be available. 

Further information can be found in the safe disposal of waste literature review.

3Not required for boards with an on-site incinerator facility.  This applies only to NHS Borders.

1.10 Occupational Safety: Prevention and Exposure Management (including sharps)

undefinedThe Health and Safety (Sharp Instruments in Healthcare) Regulations 2013 outline the regulatory requirements for employers and contractors in the healthcare sector in relation to:

  • arrangements for the safe use and disposal of sharps;
  • provision of information and training to employees;
  • investigations and actions required in response to work related sharps injuries.

Sharps handling must be assessed, kept to a minimum and eliminated if possible with the use of approved safety devices.

Manufacturers’ instructions for safe use and disposal must be followed.

Needles must not be re-sheathed.4

Always dispose of needles and syringes as 1 unit.

A significant occupational exposure is:

  • a percutaneous injury e.g. injuries from needles, instruments, bone fragments, or bites which break the skin; and/or
  • exposure of broken skin (abrasions, cuts, eczema, etc); and/or
  • exposure of mucous membranes including the eye from splashing of blood or other high risk body fluids.

There is a potential risk of transmission of a Blood Borne Virus (BBV) from a significant occupational exposure and staff must understand the actions they should take when a significant occupational exposure incident takes place.

For the management of an occupational exposure incident see Appendix 10

Further information can be found in the occupational exposure management (including sharps) literature review.

4Only exception is local anaesthetic administration in dentistry.

Chapter 2 - Transmission Based Precautions (TBPs)

Standard Infection Control Precautions (SICPs) may be insufficient to prevent cross transmission of specific infectious agents. Therefore additional precautions (TBPs) are required to be used by staff. SICPs must still be applied with these additional considerations.

TBPs should be applied when caring for:

  • patients with symptoms of infection;
  • asymptomatic patients who are suspected of incubating an infection; or
  • patients colonised with an infectious agent.

TBPs are categorised by the route of transmission of infectious agents (some infectious agents can be transmitted by more than one route):

  • Contact precautions: Used to prevent and control infections that spread via direct contact with the patient or indirectly from the patient’s immediate care environment (including care equipment). This is the most common route of cross-infection transmission.
  • Droplet precautions: Used to prevent and control infections spread over short distances (at least 3 feet (1 metre)) via droplets (>5μm) from the respiratory tract of one individual directly onto a mucosal surface or conjunctivae of another individual. Droplets penetrate the respiratory system to above the alveolar level.
  • Airborne precautions: Used to prevent and control infections spread without necessarily having close patient contact via aerosols (≤5μm) from the respiratory tract of one individual directly onto a mucosal surface or conjunctivae of another individual. Aerosols penetrate the respiratory system to the alveolar level.

Further information on Transmission Based Precautions can be found in the definitions of Transmission Based Precautions literature reviews.

Posters to display on the doors of patients being cared for under contact, droplet or airborne precautions and a TBP aide memoire are available in Resources.

2.1 Patient Placement/Assessment for Infection Risk

The potential for transmission of infection or infectious agents must be assessed at the patient’s entry to the care area and should be continuously reviewed throughout their stay. The assessment should influence placement decisions in accordance with clinical /care need(s).

Patients who may present a cross-infection risk include those:

  • With diarrhoea, vomiting, an unexplained rash, fever or respiratory symptoms.
  • Known to have been previously positive with a Multi-drug Resistant Organism (MDRO) e.g MRSA, CPE.
  • Who have been hospitalised outside Scotland in the last 12 months.

These patients should be prioritised for placement in a suitable area to minimise cross transmission pending investigation e.g.

  • In a single room with a clinical wash hand basin; or
  • Cohort area/room with a clinical wash hand basin.

Patients being transferred by ambulance should be transported in accordance with Scottish Ambulance Service (SAS) local guidance.

Isolation within a care home for a known/suspected infection may be necessary to prevent spread. In most cases this can be achieved in the persons’ bedroom.

The clinical judgement and expertise of the staff involved in a patient’s management and the Infection Prevention and Control Team (IPCT) or Health Protection Team (HPT) should be sought particularly for patient placement decisions such as the application of TBPs e.g. isolation prioritisation when single rooms are in short supply.

For patients with a suspected/known infectious agent. Appendix 11 provides details of the route of transmission, optimal patient placement, duration of isolation and type of precautions required.

Patient/Staff cohorting

If multiple patient cases of the same infection are confirmed or if single rooms are unavailable, cohorting of patients may be appropriate. Patients should be separated by at least 3 feet (1m) if cohorted.

Consider assigning a dedicated team of care staff to care for patients in isolation/cohort rooms/areas as an additional infection control measure (staff cohorting). This can only be implemented if there are sufficient levels of staff available (so as not to have a negative impact on non-affected patients’ care).

Duration of isolation/cohort

Patient(s) should remain in isolation/cohort whilst they remain symptomatic and/or are considered infectious and the door must remain closed.

Before discontinuing isolation; individual patient risk factors should be considered (e.g. there may be prolonged shedding of certain microorganisms in immunocompromised patients); and the clinical judgement of those involved in the patient’s management should be sought.

Avoid unnecessary transfer of patients within/between care areas.

All patient placement decisions and assessment of infection risk (including isolation requirements) must be clearly documented in the patient notes.

Further information can be found in the Patient Placement (Isolation and Cohorting) literature review.

2.2 Safe Management of Patient Care Equipment in an Isolation Room/Cohort Area

  • Use single-use items if possible.
  • Reusable non-invasive care equipment should be dedicated to the isolation room/cohort area and decontaminated prior to use on another patient.
  • An increased frequency of decontamination should be considered for reusable non-invasive care equipment when used in isolation/cohort areas.

For how to decontaminate non-invasive reusable equipment see Appendix 7.

Further information can be found in the management of patient care equipment literature review.

5Scottish Ambulance Service (SAS) and Scottish National Blood Transfusion Service adopt practices that differ from those stated in the National Infection Prevention and Control Manual. 

2.3 Safe Management of the Care Environment

Routine environmental decontamination

Patient isolation/cohort rooms/area must be decontaminated at least daily using either:

  • a combined detergent/disinfectant solution at a dilution of 1,000 parts per million available chlorine (ppm available chlorine (av.cl.)); or
  • a general purpose neutral detergent in a solution of warm water followed by disinfection solution of 1,000ppm av.cl.

Increased frequency of decontamination should be incorporated into the environmental decontamination schedules for areas where there may be higher environmental contamination rates e.g.

  • toilets/commodes particularly if patients have diarrhoea; and
  • "frequently touched" surfaces such as door/toilet handles and locker tops, over bed tables and bed rails.

Equipment used for environmental decontamination must be either single-use or dedicated to the affected area then decontaminated following use e.g. mop and bucket.

Terminal decontamination

Following patient transfer, discharge, or once the patient is no longer considered infectious:

Remove from the vacated isolation room/cohort area, all:

  • healthcare waste and any other disposable items (bagged before removal from the room);
  • bedding/bed screens/curtains and manage as infectious linen (bagged before removal from the room); and
  • reusable non-invasive care equipment (decontaminated in the room prior to removal) Appendix 7.

The room should be decontaminated using either:

  • a combined detergent disinfectant solution at a dilution (1,000ppm av.cl.); or
  • a general purpose neutral detergent clean in a solution of warm water followed by disinfection solution of 1,000ppm av.cl..

The room must be cleaned from the highest to lowest point and from the least to most contaminated point. Manufacturers’ guidance and recommended product "contact time" must be followed for all cleaning/disinfection solutions .

Further information can be found in the environmental decontamination and terminal cleaning literature review.

6Scottish Ambulance Service (SAS) and Scottish National Blood Transfusion Service adopt practices that differ from those stated in the National Infection Prevention and Control Manual. 

2.4 Personal Protective Equipment (PPE): Respiratory Protective Equipment (RPE)

PPE must still be used in accordance with SICPs when using Respiratory Protective Equipment. See Chapter 1.4 for PPE use for SICPs and the surgical mask literature review for TBPs.

Where it is not reasonably practicable to prevent exposure to a substance hazardous to health (as may be the case where healthcare workers are caring for patients with suspected or known airborne micro-organisms) the hazard must be adequately controlled by applying protection measures appropriate to the activity and consistent with the assessment of risk.

Respiratory Protective Equipment (RPE) i.e. FFP3 and facial protection, must be considered when a patient is admitted with a known/suspected infectious agent/disease spread wholly or partly by the airborne or droplet route and when carrying out aerosol generating procedures (AGPs) on patients with a known/suspected infectious agent spread wholly or partly by the airborne or droplet route.

For a list of organisms spread wholly or partly by the airborne (aerosol) or droplet routes see Appendix 11.

The following risk categorisation is the minimum requirement for staff groups that require FFP3 fit testing. NHS Boards can add to this for example where high risk units are present. This categorisation is inclusive of out of hours services.

National Minimum Risk Categorisation for fit testing with FFP3

Level 1 – Preparedness for business as usual

Staff in clinical areas most likely to provide care to patients who present at healthcare facilities with an infectious pathogen spread by the airborne route; and/or undertake aerosol generating procedures i.e. A&E, ICU, paediatrics, respiratory, infectious diseases, anaesthesia, theatres, Chest physiotherapists, Special Operations Response Team (Ambulance), A&E Ambulance Staff, Bronchoscopy Staff, Resuscitation teams, Mortuary staff.

Level 2 – Preparedness in the event of emerging threat

Staff in clinical setting likely to provide care to patients admitted to hospital in the event of an emerging threat e.g. Medical receiving, Surgical, Midwifery and Speciality wards, all other ambulance transport staff. In the event of an ‘Epidemic/Pandemic’ Local Board Assessment as per their preparedness plans will apply.

 

All tight fitting RPE i.e FFP3 respirators must be:

  • Fit tested on all healthcare staff who may be required to wear a respirator to ensure an adequate seal/fit according to the manufacturers’ guidance.
  • Fit checked (according to the manufacturers’ guidance) every time a respirator is donned to ensure an adequate seal has been achieved.
  • Compatible with other facial protection used i.e. protective eyewear so that this does not interfere with the seal of the respiratory protection. Regular corrective spectacles are not considered adequate eye protection.
  • Donned and removed in a safe area (e.g. outside the isolation/cohort room/area).

Further information regarding fitting and fit checking of respirators can be found on the Health and Safety Executive website. Powered respirator hoods are an alternative to tight-fitting FFP3 respirators for example when fit testing cannot be achieved.

FFP3 respirator or powered respirator hood:

  • may be considered for use by visitors if there has been no previous exposure to the infected person or infectious agent; but
  • must never be worn by an infectious patient(s) due to the nature of the respirator filtration of incoming air not expelled air.

Further information can be found in the Respiratory Protective Equipment (RPE) literature review and the Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for Infectious Diseases of High Consequence (IDHC) literature review.

Frameworks to support the assessing and recording of staff competency in PPE for IDHC are available in the resources section of the NIPCM.

2.5 Infection Prevention and Control during care of the deceased

The principles of SICPs and TBPs continue to apply whilst deceased individuals remain in the care environment. This is due to the ongoing risk of infectious transmission via contact although the risk is usually lower than for living patients.

Washing and/or dressing of the deceased should be avoided if the deceased is known or suspected to be harbouring invasive streptococcal infection, viral haemorrhagic fevers or other Group 4 infectious agents.

Details of pathogens can be found in Appendix 12. Key Infections from HSE Guidance “Controlling the risks of infection at work from Human Remains.

Staff should advise relatives of the precautions following viewing and/or physical contact with the deceased and also when this should be avoided.

Deceased individuals known or suspected to be harbouring a Group 4 infectious agent should be removed to a sealed double plastic body bag with absorbent material placed between each bag. The surface of the outer bag should then be disinfected with 1000ppm av.cl before being placed in a robust sealed coffin. This should be identified as a high risk and placed within a cold storage facility by mortuary staff whilst awaiting ongoing transport.

Further information can be found in the infection prevention and control during care of the deceased literature review.

Chapter 3 - Healthcare Infection Incidents, Outbreaks and Data Exceedance

The purpose of this chapter is to support the early recognition of potential infection incidents and to guide IPCT/HPTs in the incident management process within healthcare settings; (that is, the NHS, independent contractors providing NHS services and private providers of healthcare).

This guidance is aligned to the Management of Public Health Incidents: Guidance on the Roles and Responsibilities of NHS led Incident Management Teams

3.1 Definitions of Healthcare Infection Incident, Outbreak and Data Exceedance

The terms ‘incident’ and ‘Incident Management Team’ (IMT) are used as generic terms to cover both incidents and outbreaks

A healthcare infection incident may be:

An exceptional infection episode

• A single case of any serious illness which has major implications for others (patients, staff and/or visitors), the organisation or wider public health e.g. infectious diseases of high consequence such as VHF or XDR-TB.

See literature review for Infectious Diseases of High Consequence (IDHC)

 

A healthcare associated infection outbreak

• Two or more linked cases with the same infectious agent associated with the same healthcare setting over a specified time period; or

• A higher than expected number of cases of HAI in a given healthcare area over a specified time period.

 

A healthcare infection exposure incident

• Exposure of patients, staff, public to a possible infectious agent as a result of a healthcare system failure or a near miss e.g. ventilation, water or decontamination incidents.

 

A healthcare infection data exceedance

• A greater than expected rate of infection compared with the usual background rate for that healthcare location.

 

Further information can be found in the literature review Healthcare infection incidents and outbreaks in Scotland.

3.2 Detection and recognition of a Healthcare Infection incident/outbreak or data exceedance

An early and effective response to an actual or potential healthcare incident, outbreak or data exceedance is crucial. The local Board IPCT and HPT should be aware of and refer to the national minimum list of alert organisms/conditions. See Appendix 13.

3.2.1 Assessment

Following detection/recognition of an incident a member of IPCT or HPT will:

  • Based on this initial assessment the IPCT/HPT may choose to convene a Problem Assessment Group (PAG) to further assess and determine if an IMT is required.
    • If the HIIAT is assessed as Green and there is no HPS support required then this should be reported as per DL(2015)19 http://www.sehd.scot.nhs.uk/dl/DL(2015)19.pdf. If support is required this should be communicated to HPS.
    • If the HIIAT is assessed Amber or Red report to HPS. Healthcare Incident Infection and Outbreak Reporting Template (HIIORT) - Appendix 15 should be completed.

 

3.2.2 Investigation

The IPCT/HPT will establish an IMT if required.

  • In the NHS hospital setting the ICD will usually chair the IMT and lead the investigation of healthcare incidents.  Where there are implications for the wider community e.g. TB or measles, or rare events such as CJD or a Hepatitis B/HIV look back, or where there is an actual or potential conflict of interest with the hospital service, the CPHM may chair the IMT.
  • The membership of the IMT will vary depending on the nature of the incident. A draft IMT agenda is available in the resources section of the NIPCM website.
  • A case definition for the purpose of the incident will be agreed. A case definition should include the following: the people involved (e.g. patients, staff); the symptoms/pathogen/infection (e.g. with Group A Streptococci); the place (e.g. care area(s) involved); and a limit of time (e.g. between January and March year/date). The case definition(s) should be regularly reviewed and refined (if required) throughout the incident investigation as more information becomes available.
  • The investigation of the incident should include: an ongoing epidemiological investigation; the nature and characteristics of the incident e.g. a microbiological investigation; and how cases were exposed to the infective agent or other hazard to inform control measures.
  • Identify any change(s) in the system: staffing, procedures/processing, equipment, suppliers. A step-by-step review of procedure(s). A generic outbreak checklist is available in the resources section of the NIPCM website.
  • Identify and count all cases and/or persons exposed: This includes the total number of confirmed/probable/possible exposed cases. A data collection tool is available in the resources section of the NIPCM website.
  • The IMT should receive and discuss all information gathered and epidemiological outputs e.g. an epidemiological (epi) curve, a timeline and a ward map to:

o Generate hypotheses as to which cross-transmission pathways and clinical procedures may be involved.

o Determine whether additional case finding and control measures may be necessary.

o Confirm that all incident control measures are being applied effectively and are sufficient.

The IMT Chair, in discussion with the IMT, should determine whether further reporting on the incident and the incident management is required i.e. SBAR Report and full IMT report template are available in the resources section of the NIPCM website.  

References

Reference 1

The use of the word 'Persons' can be used instead of ‘Patient’ when using this document in non-healthcare settings.

Glossary

Abrasion

A graze. A minor wound in which the surface of the skin or a mucous membrane has been worn away by rubbing or scraping.

Aerosol Generating Procedures (AGPs)

Certain medical and patient care activities that can result in the release of airborne particles (aerosols). AGPs can create a risk of airborne transmission of infections that are usually only spread by droplet transmission.

See Appendix 11, footnote 3 for further information

Aerosols

See Airborne particles

Airborne (aerosol) transmission

The spread of infection from one person to another by airborne particles (aerosols) containing infectious agents.

Airborne particles (aerosols)

Very small particles that may contain infectious agents. They can remain in the air for long periods of time and can be carried over long distances by air currents. Airborne particles can be released when a person coughs or sneezes, and during aerosol generating procedures (AGPs).

Alcohol based hand rub (ABHR)

A gel, foam or liquid containing alcohol that is rubbed into the hands as an alternative to washing hands with soap and water.

Alert organism

An organism that is identified as being potentially significant for infection prevention and control practices. Examples of alert organisms include Meticillin Resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), Clostridium difficile (C.diff) and Group A Streptococcus.

See Appendix 11 of the NIPCM - List of infectious agents and/or diseases that require Transmission Based Precautions (TBPs) in addition to SICPs.

Alveolar

Refers to the alveoli which are the small air sacs in the lungs. Alveoli are located at the ends of the air passageways in the lungs, and are the site at which gas exchange takes place.

Antimicrobial

An agent that kills microorganisms, or prevents them from growing. Antibiotics and disinfectants are antimicrobial agents.

Antimicrobial hand wipes

Hand wipes that are moistened with an antimicrobial solution/agent at a concentration sufficient to inactivate microorganisms and/or temporarily suppress their growth.

Aseptic Technique

A healthcare procedure designed to minimise the risks of exposing the person being cared for to pathogenic micro-organisms during simple (e.g dressing wounds) and complex care procedures (e.g. surgical procedures).

Asymptomatic

Not showing any symptoms of disease but where an infection may be present.

Autoclave

Machine used for sterilising re-usable equipment using superheated steam under pressure.

Blood Borne Viruses (BBV)

Viruses carried or transmitted by blood, for example Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C and HIV.

Body Fluids

Fluid produced by the body such as urine, faeces, vomit or diarrhoea.

Carbapenemase Producing Enterobacteriaceae (CPE)

A group of bacteria that have become extremely resistant to antibiotics including those called carbapenems.

Care areas/environment

Any place where care is carried out. This includes hospital wards, treatment rooms, care homes and care at home.

Care staff

Any person who cares for patients, including healthcare support workers and nurses.

Central Decontamination Unit (CDU)

A large, centralised facility for the decontamination and re-processing of re-usable medical equipment e.g. surgical instruments.

Central Vascular Catheter (CVC)

An intravenous catheter that is inserted directly into a large vein in the neck, chest or groin to allow intravenous drugs and fluids to be given and to allow blood monitoring.

Chlorine

A chemical that is used for disinfecting, fumigating and bleaching.

Cleaning

The removal of any dirt, blood, sickness, etc by use of an appropriate cleaning agent such as detergent.

Clinical setting

Any area where a patient is observed or treatment is carried out such as a treatment room or hospital ward.

Clinical wash hand basin

A sink designated for hand washing in clinical areas.

Clostridium difficile (C.diff)

An infectious agent (bacterium) that can cause mild to severe diarrhoea which in some cases can lead to gastro-intestinal complications and death.

Cohort area

A bay or ward in which two or more patients (cohort) with the same confirmed infection are placed. A cohort area should be physically separate from other patients.

Cohort nursing

A dedicated team of healthcare staff who care for a cohort of patients, and do not care for any other patients.

Cohorting

Placing a group of two or more patients (a cohort) with the same confirmed infection in the same room or area.

Colonisation

The presence of bacteria on a body surface (such as the skin, mouth, intestines or airway) that does not cause disease in the person or signs of infection.

Conjunctivae

Mucous membranes that cover the front of the eyes and the inside of the eyelids.

Contact transmission

The spread of infectious agents from one person to another by contact. When spread occurs through skin-to-skin contact, this is called direct contact transmission. When spread occurs via a contaminated object, this is called indirect contact transmission.

Contaminated

Dirty, soiled or stained.

Cross-infection/Cross-transmission

Spread of infection from one person to another.

Decontamination

Removing, or killing pathogens on an item or surface to make it safe for handling, re-use or disposal, by cleaning, disinfection and/or sterilisation.

Detergent

A chemical cleansing agent that can dissolve oils and remove dirt.

Diarrhoea

3 or more loose or liquid bowel movements in 24 hours or more often than is normal for the individual.

Direct contact transmission

Spread of infectious agents from one person to another by direct skin-to-skin contact.

Disinfectant

A chemical used to reduce the number of infectious agents from an object or surface to a level that means they are not harmful to health.

Disinfection

A process, for example using a chemical disinfectant, to reduce the number of infectious agents from an object or surface to a level that means they are not harmful to your health.

Domestic waste

Waste produced in the care setting that is similar to waste produced in the home.

Droplet

A small drop of moisture, larger than airborne particle, that may contain infectious agents. Droplets can be released when a person talks, coughs or sneezes, and during some medical or patient care procedures such as open suctioning and cough induction by chest physiotherapy. It is thought that droplets can travel around 1 metre (3 feet).

Droplet transmission

The spread of infection from one person to another by droplets containing infectious agents.

Emollient

An agent used to soothe the skin and make it soft and supple. 

En-suite

A room containing a sink and toilet and sometimes a shower/wetroom or bath.

Excretions

Waste products produced by the body such as urine and faeces (bowel movements).

Exposure

The condition of being exposed to something that may have a harmful effect such as an infectious agent.

Exposure Prone Procedures (EPPs)

Certain medical and patient care procedures where there is a risk that injury to the healthcare worker may result in exposure of the patient’s open tissues to the healthcare worker’s blood e.g the healthcare worker’s gloved hands are in contact with sharp instruments, needle tips or sharp tissues inside a patient’s body.

FFP3

Respiratory protection that is worn over the nose and mouth designed to protect the wearer from inhaling hazardous substances, including airborne particles (aerosols). FFP stands for filtering facepiece. There are three categories of FFP respirator: FFP1, FFP2 and FFP3. An FFP3 respirator or hood provides the highest level of protection, and is the only category of respirator legislated for use in UK healthcare settings.

Fit Testing

A method of checking that a tight-fitting facepiece respirator fits the wearer and seals adequately to their face. This process helps identify unsuitable facepieces that should not be used.

Fluid resistant

A term applied to fabrics that resist liquid penetration, often used interchangeably with 'fluid-repellent'  when describing the properties of protective clothing or equipment.

GP

General practitioner (your family doctor)

Group 4 Infections

Definition taken from the HSE Approved list of biological agents www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/misc208.pdf

Group 4 infections cause severe human disease and is a serious hazard to employees; it is likely to spread to the community and there is usually no effective prophylaxis or treatment available.

 

 

Hand Hygiene

The process of decontaminating your hands using either alcohol based hand rub or liquid soap and water.

Health Protection Team (HPT)

Health Protection Team (HPT) – A team of healthcare professionals whose role it is to protect the health of the local population and limit the risk of them becoming exposed to infection and environmental dangers. Every NHS board has a HPT.

Healthcare Associated Infection (HAI)

Infections that occur as a result of medical care, or treatment, in any healthcare setting.

Healthcare Waste

Waste produced as a result of healthcare activities for example soiled dressings, sharps.

Hygiene Waste

Waste that is produced from personal care. In care settings this includes feminine hygiene products, incontinence products and nappies, catheter and stoma bags. Hygiene waste may cause offence due to the presence of recognisable healthcare waste items or body fluids. It is usually assumed that hygiene waste is not hazardous or infectious.

Hypochlorite

A chlorine-based disinfectant such as bleach

Immunisation

To provide immunity to a disease by giving a vaccination.

Immunocompromised patient/individual

Any person whose immune response is reduced or deficient, usually because they have a disease or are undergoing treatment. People who are immunocompromised are more vulnerable to infection.

Impervious

Cannot be penetrated by liquid.

IMT

A multidisciplinary group with responsibility for investigating and managing the incident.

Indirect contract transmission

The spread of infectious agents from one person to another via a contaminated object.

Infection

Invasion of the body by a harmful organism or infectious agent such as a virus, parasite or bacterium.

Infectious agent

Any organism, such as a virus, parasite, or bacterium, that is capable of invading body tissues, multiplying, and causing disease

Infectious Diseases of High Consequence (IDHC)

An Infectious Disease of high consequence (IDHC) typically causes severe symptoms requiring a high level of care and a high case-fatality rate, there may not be effective prophylaxis or treatment.  IDHC are transmissible from human to human (contagious) and capable of causing large-scale epidemics or pandemics. 

Invasive device

A device which penetrates the body, either through a body cavity or through the surface of the body. Central Venous Catheters (central line), Peripheral Arterial Lines and Urinary Catheters are examples of invasive devices.

Invasive procedure

A medical/healthcare procedure that penetrates or breaks the skin or enters a body cavity.

Isolation

Physically separating patients to prevent the spread of infection.

Isolation Suite/Room

An isolation suite comprises a single-bed room, en-suite facilities and a ventilated entry lobby.

J

No terms

Microorganism (microbe)

Any living thing (organism) that is too small to be seen by the naked eye. Bacteria, viruses and some parasites are microorganisms.

Mode of transmission

The way that microorganisms spread from one person to another. The main modes or routes of transmission are airborne (aerosol) transmission, droplet transmission and contact transmission.

MRSA

Strains of the infectious agent (bacterium) Staphylococcus aureus that are resistant to many of the antibiotics commonly used to treat infections.

Mucous membranes/mucosa

The surfaces lining the cavities of the body that are exposed to the environment such as the lining of the mouth and nose.

Needle safety device

Any device designed to reduce the risk of injury from needles. This may include needle-free devices or mechanisms on a needle, such as an automated resheathing device, that cover the needle immediately after use.

Nitrile

A synthetic rubber material used to make non-latex gloves.

Non-sterile procedure

Care procedure that does not need to be undertaken in conditions that are free from bacteria or other microorganisms.

Occupational exposure

Exposure of healthcare workers or care staff to blood or body fluids in the course of their work.

Organism

Any living thing that can grow and reproduce, such as a plant, animal, fungus or bacterium.

Outbreak

When two or more people have the same infection, or more people than expected have the same infection.  The cases will be linked by a place and a time period.

Pathogen

Any disease-producing infectious agent.

Percutaneous injury

An injury caused by a sharp instrument or object such as a needle or scalpel, cutting or puncturing the skin.

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

Equipment a person wears to protect themselves from risks to their health or safety, including exposure to infections e.g. disposable gloves and disposable aprons.

PAG, Problem Assessment Group

A group that is convened by IPCT/HPT to determine and assess if further action relating to a Healthcare Incident/Outbreak/Data Exceedance is required i.e IMT.

The outcome may be:

  • HIIAT Green - continue to monitor
  • HIIAT Amber/Red - IMT required
Pyrexia

Fever. Rise in body temperature above the normal level >37.2°.

Re-sheath

To put a needle or other sharp object back into its plastic sheath.

Respiratory droplets

A small droplet, such as a particle of moisture released from the mouth during coughing, sneezing, or speaking.

Respiratory Protective Equipment (RPE)

There are two main types of RPE: respirators and breathing apparatus.

  • Respirators are devices worn over the nose and mouth or head and are designed to filter the air breathed in to protect the wearer from inhaling hazardous substances, including airborne particles (aerosols).
  • Breathing apparatus provides a supply of breathing quality air from an external source such as a cylinder or an air compressor. The most commonly used item of RPE in healthcare settings is an FFP3 respirator.
Sanitary fittings

Pieces of furniture that are in a bathroom, such as a toilet, bath etc.

Secretions

Any body fluid that is produced by a cell or gland such as saliva or mucous.

Segregated

Physically separating or isolating from other people.

Sharps

Sharp instruments used in healthcare settings such as needles, lancets and scalpels.

Sharps injury

See percutaneous injury.

Spore

A form that some types of bacteria take under certain environmental conditions. Spores can survive for long periods of time and are very resistant to heat, drying and chemicals.

Sterile

Free from live bacteria or other microorganisms

Sterile procedure

Care procedure that is undertaken in conditions that are free from bacteria or other microorganisms.

Sterilisation

The procedure of making some object free of all germs, live bacteria or other microorganisms (usually by heat or chemical means).

Surgical face mask

A disposable fluid repellent mask worn over the nose and mouth to protect the mucous membranes of the wearer’s nose and mouth from splashes and infectious droplets and also to protect patients.  When recommended for infection control purposes a 'surgical face mask' typically denotes a fluid-resistant (Type IIR) surgical mask.

Swan-neck

Way of closing bag by tying in a loop and securing with a zip tie to make a handle.

Terminal decontamination

Cleaning/decontamination of an area or room following transfer/discharge of patient or when they are no longer considered infectious to ensure the area safe for the next patient or for the person to go back into their room in a care home setting

Vascular access devices

Any medical instrument used to access a patient’s veins or arteries such as a Central Venous Catheter or peripheral vascular catheter.

Disclaimer: Printed copies of the NIPCM are uncontrolled and only valid at the time of printing. The NIPCM website http://www.nipcm.scot.nhs.uk/ should be used to ensure you are using the current guidance.