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Infection Control - inpatient isolation precautions

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Isolation precautions for inpatients with Cystic Fibrosis (CF)

You can read more about the background of this project, purpose of the recommendations or the methodology here. 

Key Points

  • Healthcare personnel should assume that all people with Cystic Fibrosis (CF) could have respiratory pathogens that are transmissible to other people with CF.
  • Children and Young people with CF, who are inpatients, should be admitted to single rooms, and should not share a nurse with another patient with CF.
  • All people with CF should avoid close contact with other people with CF in all settings unless they are immediate family/whanau.
  • All clinics should implement a locally agreed infection control policy for Children and Young people with CF.

Children and young people with CF should be admitted to a single room. Only people with CF who live in the same household may share a hospital room. If a single room is not possible there should be no more than one child or young person with CF in each shared room. Roommates should be selected carefully to ensure that risk of exposure to respiratory infections is low.

Children and young people with CF should also be separated from those with non-CF bronchiectasis / chronic cough/respiratory infections.

All children and young people with CF should have an identified toilet/bathroom on the ward that other patients with CF do not use.

Children and young people with CF on ward at the same time should not be looked after by the same nurse. Contact Precautions will be necessary for patients if this is not possible.

Children and young people with CF should be discouraged from waiting around in corridors on the ward and/or sitting or waiting around the nurse's station, including during the evenings.

To prevent transmissible pathogens occurring between children and young people with CF, healthcare workers should observe an appropriate combination of practices (e.g. hand hygiene and disinfection) and barrier precautions (e.g. gown, mask, gloves) based on the anticipated exposure when they care for a patient.

Masks should be worn, as follows:

There should be rigid adherence to infection control policies by physiotherapists when carrying out airway clearance:

It is recommended that people with CF are evaluated on a case-by-case basis for participation in activities outside their hospital room (e.g. going to the play/activity room, physiotherapy department, or school room) only when no other person with CF is present and under the supervision of a trained staff member.

Considerations include the capability of a person with CF to contain his or her respiratory tract secretions, age, pathogens, and adherence to the following practices:

If the child is coughing/expectorating copious secretions there may be significant contamination of the environment. Consideration should then be given to providing activities in the child's room. Children or young people with MRSA and/or B. cepacia complex should not use shared play/activity or school rooms.


  1. Cystic Fibrosis, Australia (2012).  Infection Control Guidelines for Cystic Fibrosis Patients and Carers.  Available from:
  2. Cystic Fibrosis Foundation Guideline (2014).  Infection Prevention and Control Guideline for Cystic Fibrosis: 2013 Update.  Available from:
  3. Royal Brompton & Harefield, NHS Foundation Trust (2014).  Clinical Guidelines: Care of Children with Cystic Fibrosis. Available from:

Information last reviewed: October 2016

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