Nursing diagnosis – RISK FOR CONTAMINATION



Accentuated risk of exposure to environmental contaminants in

doses sufficient to cause adverse health effects



(temperature, wind, geographic

• Environmental contaminants


in the home

• Playing in outdoor areas

• Exposure to heavy metals or

where environmental contami-

chemicals, bioterrorism,
atmospheric pollutants, disas-
ter, radiation

nants are present
• Social factors, such as
overcrowding, sanitation,

• Insufficient or absent use of

poverty, personal and house-

decontamination protocol

hold hygiene practices, lack

• Flooding, earthquakes, atmos-

of access to healthcare

pheric pollutants, or other
natural disasters

• Age (less than 5 years or older

• Contamination of aquifers by


septic tanks

• Female gender

• Industrial plant emissions,

• Concomitant or previous

discharge of contaminants by

• Developmental characteristics

• Intentional or accidental con-

(gestational age during exposure)

tamination of food and water

• Nutritional factors or dietary

• No or inappropriate use of

Preexisting disease states: gen-

protective clothing

der, occupation, history of

• Physical factors, such

smoking; presence of bacteria,

as climactic conditions

viruses, toxins, vectors

ASSESSMENT FOCUS    (Refer  to  comprehensive  assessment  parameters.)

• Populations

• Risk management


The patient/community will

• Remain free from adverse effects of contamination.

• Utilize health surveillance data system to monitor for contamina-

tion incidents.

• Participate in mass casualty and disaster readiness drills.

• Remain free from contamination-related health effects.

• Have minimal exposure to contaminants.


Community Disaster Readiness; Community Health Status; Health

Beliefs: Perceived Threat; Knowledge: Health Behavior; Knowledge:

Health Resources; Risk Control



Determine: Monitor individuals for therapeutic effects, side effects,

and compliance with postexposure drug therapy. Drug therapy may

extend over a long period of time and will require monitoring for

compliance as well as therapeutic and side effects.

Perform: Conduct surveillance for environmental contamination;

notify agencies authorized to protect the environment of

contaminants in the area. Early surveillance and detection are criti-

cal components of preparation.

Assist individuals in relocating to safer environment to decrease

their risk of contamination.

Modify environment to minimize risk. Modification of the

environment will decrease the risk of actual contamination.

Implement decontamination of persons, clothing, and equipment

by using approved procedure. Victims may first require decontami-

nation before entering health facility to receive care in order to pre-

vent the spread of contamination.

Use appropriate isolation precautions: universal, airborne, droplet,

and contact isolation. Proper use of isolation precautions prevents

cross-contamination by contaminating agent.

Inform: Provide accurate information on risks involved, preventive

measures, use of antibiotics and vaccines to reduce anxiety and

increase compliance.

Attend: Assist community members with feelings of fear and vulner-

ability. Interventions aimed at supporting an individual’s coping help

the person deal with feelings of fear, helplessness, and loss of

control that are normal reactions in a crisis situation.

Manage: In conjunction with other healthcare providers, schedule

mass casualty and disaster readiness drills. Practice in handling con-

tamination occurrences will decrease the risk of exposure during

actual contamination events.


Bioterrorism Preparedness; Communicable Disease Management;

Community; Community Disaster Preparedness; Environmental Man-

agement: Safety; Environmental Risk Protection; Health Education;

Health Policy Monitoring; Health Screening; Immunization/

Vaccination Management; Risk Identification; Surveillance: Safety


Chung, S., & Shannon, M. (2005). Hospital planning for acts of terrorism

and other public health emergencies involving children. Archives of Disease
in Childhood, 90(12), 1300–1330.

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