Universal precautions refers to the practice, in medicine, of avoiding contact with patients' bodily fluids, by means of the wearing of nonporous articles such as medical gloves, goggles, and face shields. The practice of Universal Precautions was introduced in 1985–88. In 1987, the practice of universal precautions was adjusted by a set of rules known as body substance isolation. In 1996, both practices were replaced by the standard precautions in health care. The use of universal precautions is recommended in all healthcare settings and is critical when decontaminating and cleaning surgical instruments prior to sterilization.
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