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Are Contact Precautions ethically justifiable in contemporary hospital care?


Harris, J and Walsh, K and Dodds, S, Are Contact Precautions ethically justifiable in contemporary hospital care?, Nursing Ethics pp. 1-14. ISSN 0969-7330 (2017) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2017 The Authors

DOI: doi:10.1177/0969733017709335


Hospital infection control practices known as Contact Precautions are recommended for the management of people with pathogens such as methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus or vancomycin-resistant Enterococci.

Background: The patient is isolated, and staff are required to wear gloves, and a gown or apron when providing care. A notice is displayed to remind staff of these requirements and an Ďalertí message is placed in the patientís medical record.

Objective: The aim of this article is to discuss and explore whether practices used in hospitals to reduce the transmission of endemic antibiotic-resistant organisms are ethically justified in todayís healthcare environment in the developed world. In order to do this, the history of the development of these practices is summarised, and the evidence base for their effectiveness is reviewed. Key bioethics principles are then discussed and contextualised from the perspective of hospital infection prevention and control, and an ethically superior model for the prevention and control of healthcare associated infection is proposed.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:autonomy, contact precautions, infection prevention and control, justice, methicillin-resistant <i>Staphylococcus aureus</i>, principlism, standard precautions, vancomycin-resistant <i>Enterococci</i>, vector, victim
Research Division:Health Sciences
Research Group:Nursing
Research Field:Community and primary care
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Provision of health and support services
Objective Field:Nursing
UTAS Author:Harris, J (Miss Jessica Harris)
UTAS Author:Walsh, K (Professor Kenneth Walsh)
ID Code:117521
Year Published:2017
Web of Science® Times Cited:2
Deposited By:Health Sciences
Deposited On:2017-06-19
Last Modified:2018-09-26

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