If I Am Seeing a Family, Do I Have to Change Barrier Protection Between Seeing Each Family Member?

The chance of cross-contamination between family members is very high if you use the practice of reusing barrier. Universal and standard precautions remind us that we use the same infection control standards for all patients no matter their diagnosis or relationship. Barrier protection is an essential part of infection control and helps to limit cross-contamination between patients. Page 11 of the Recommendations from the Guidelines for Infection Control in the Dental Setting states “Use surface barriers to protect clinical contact surfaces, particularly those that are difficult to clean (e.g., switches on dental chairs) and change surface barriers between patients.” Universal and standard precautions state “Standard Precautions represent the minimum infection prevention measures that apply to all patient care, regardless of suspected or confirmed infection status of the patient, in any setting where healthcare is delivered.” All patients need to be treated the same as far as infection control standards are concerned even if they are mother and child.

Source:  Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Infection Prevention Checklist for Dental Setting: Basic Expectations for Safe Care “Basic Infection Control and Prevention Plan for Outpatient Oncology Settings”, http://www.cdc.gov/HAI/settings/outpatient/basic-infection-control-prevention-plan-2011/fundamental-of-infection-prevention.html