Protective Isolation: What Is It and Why Do I Need It?
Our immune system keeps us healthy by fighting organisms from our everyday environment, like bacteria and viruses, which could possibly harm us. However, when we are immunocompromised (have a weakened immune system), common organisms become a threat since our bodies are unable to fight them off. This is when protective isolation is helpful. Doctors, nurses, and other hospital staff practice protective isolation to make sure that patients with weakened immune systems are not exposed to organisms that could potentially lead to infection and serious complications.If you are admitted to the hospital and are under protective isolation, here are actions that the staff will take to protect you.
Your RoomYou may be given your own hospital room. The staff will take steps to keep your room clean during your stay. This may include:
- Cleaning surfaces, such as tabletops and doorknobs, with damp cloths and detergent
- Cleaning equipment with alcohol wipes or water and detergent
- Making sure the room is properly ventilated
- Keeping only necessary furniture and equipment in the room
- Stocking the sink with hand hygiene products such as hand sanitizer, soap, paper towels, and gloves
- Changing bed sheets, towels, and other linens daily
- Mopping floors daily
- Keeping the door to your room closed
- Removing fresh flowers and plants from the room
Hospital Staff and VisitorsHospital staff and visitors, like your family and friends, may be dressed in protective clothing when they enter your room in some cases. They may be wearing disposable:
- Aprons or gowns
- Shoe coverings
- Hair nets