Skip to Content

Airborne Precautions

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:

Why do I need airborne precautions?

Airborne precautions are used to prevent the spread of germs through the air or dust. Examples of illnesses that require airborne precautions are tuberculosis, measles, and chickenpox. The germs can remain in air or dust for a long time and spread far from you to others. Anyone who breathes in the germs from you can become infected. Healthcare providers will use airborne precautions as soon as they think you are infected. Ask how long you will need airborne precautions.

What do I need to know about airborne precautions in the hospital?

You will be placed in a private room that has an air exchange system. The system moves air out of your room and brings fresh air in. The doors to your room will stay closed. Healthcare providers will post a sign outside your room to instruct visitors on the precautions used in your room:

  • Anyone who enters the room must wear a mask to avoid breathing in the germs.
  • You will be required to stay in your room unless you need tests. You will need to put on a mask if you leave your room.
  • You must cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. The tissue must be thrown in the trash right away.
  • You must wash your hands with soap and water or use an alcohol gel often. Hand cleaning is especially important after you cough or sneeze.

What do I need to know about airborne precautions at home?

When you are able to go home, you must continue to take your medicines as directed. You may be directed to use the precautions you used in the hospital, in addition to the following:

  • Stay inside your home until your healthcare provider gives you other instructions.
  • Tell everyone who lives in or visits your home to contact their healthcare providers. They may need vaccines or tests within 3 days of being exposed to germs from you.
  • Clean dusty surfaces with a wet towel. The germs will stick to the wet towel instead of spreading on dust particles.
  • Continue to cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash right away.
  • Continue to wash your hands with soap and water or use an alcohol gel often. Hand cleaning is especially important after you cough or sneeze.

Care Agreement

You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your caregivers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment. The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

© 2016 Truven Health Analytics Inc. Information is for End User's use only and may not be sold, redistributed or otherwise used for commercial purposes. All illustrations and images included in CareNotes® are the copyrighted property of A.D.A.M., Inc. or Truven Health Analytics.

The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

Hide