Transporting and Processing Contaminated Critical and Semi-critical Patient-care Items

One of the overlooked areas is the handling of contaminated critical and semi-critical patient care items after a procedure. This is where the DHCP collects the contaminated material from the operatory for cleaning and disinfection. At this point sharps may be exposed and blood and/or OPIM splattered all over the immediate area of the operatory. Contamination of the DHCP may easily occur at this point.

Transmission may occur through non-intact skin (eg, open wound), percutaneous injury due to sharps or mucous membranes.


1. Contaminated instruments should not be handled with bare hands. Wearing of puncture resistant gloves is recommended.
2. Use an instrument to disassemble sharps.
3. Instruments must be placed in a container to prevent percutaneous injuries during transport.

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