Isolation Precautions for Visitors

Current - Guidelines
April 10, 2015

This manuscript was created to provide general recommendations for isolation precautions among visitors based on the literature and a survey of the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America (SHEA) membership and SHEA Research Network (SRN). For endemic situations with methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and vancomycin-resistant enterococci (VRE), we recommend not using contact isolation precautions, although visitors interacting with multiple patients should use isolation practices similar to those of HCWs. Utilization of contact precautions should be considered for visitors to patients with extensively drug-resistant Gram-negative organisms (eg, Klebsiella pneumoniae carbapenemase (KPC) or enteric pathogens with diarrhea, such as Clostridium difficile and norovirus). Visitors with extensive documented exposure to the symptomatic patient prior to hospitalization such as parents/guardians/family members may be excluded from isolation precautions. These recommendations should be adapted to patient populations and individual hospital needs.

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