Breaking the Chain of Infection


Barley Chironda, RPN, CIC, explains what the “chain of infection” is and what is needed to break it.

Barley Chironda, RPN, CIC, infection control specialist at Clorox Healthcare, explains what the “chain of infection” is and what is needed to break it.

Interview Transcript (modified slightly for readability):

“The ‘chain of infection’ is an important concept. When people talk about the ‘chain of infection’ in an infection control conference, it’s something that everyone really identifies with. It’s the different things that have to happen, step-by-step, for a person to pick up an infection from another person.

When somebody has bacteria on their hands, that bacteria can get to a person, but the only way it gets to another person, is when you hold their hands, or when you touch some piece of equipment that eventually gets touched by somebody else. The main thing is to break that chain of infection, and so, in the example that I just gave, what you want to do is, you want to make sure that when you touch something, before somebody else touches it, it gets disinfected. Or when you touch somebody as a patient, before you touch the next patient, make sure you wash your hands.

These processes are now called breaking the chain of infection, but it all stems from that whole chain of infection. The key thing is to break that chain.

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