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Are Contact Precautions ethically justifiable in contemporary hospital care?

Harris, J, Walsh, K ORCID: 0000-0002-6314-7443 and Dodds, S 2017 , 'Are Contact Precautions ethically justifiable in contemporary hospital care?' , Nursing Ethics , pp. 1-14 , doi: 10.1177/0969733017709335.

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Abstract

Hospital infection control practices known as Contact Precautions are recommended for the managementof people with pathogens such as methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus or vancomycin-resistantEnterococci. Background: The patient is isolated, and staff are required to wear gloves, and a gown orapron when providing care. A notice is displayed to remind staff of these requirements and an ‘alert’message is placed in the patient’s medical record. Objective: The aim of this article is to discuss andexplore whether practices used in hospitals to reduce the transmission of endemic antibiotic-resistantorganisms are ethically justified in today’s healthcare environment in the developed world. In order to dothis, the history of the development of these practices is summarised, and the evidence base for theireffectiveness is reviewed. Key bioethics principles are then discussed and contextualised from theperspective of hospital infection prevention and control, and an ethically superior model for theprevention and control of healthcare associated infection is proposed.

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Harris, J and Walsh, K and Dodds, S
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
Journal or Publication Title: Nursing Ethics
Publisher: Arnold
ISSN: 0969-7330
DOI / ID Number: 10.1177/0969733017709335
Copyright Information:

Copyright 2017 The Authors

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