3 - Respiratory and cough hygiene

Photo of elderly woman sneezing into a tissueIt is easy for infections to spread within a care home by coughing and sneezing so it is very important that respiratory and cough hygiene is used by everyone including staff, residents and visitors.



What you need for respiratory and cough hygiene

• Disposable tissues

• Waste bin and waste bags

• Hand hygiene products

If anyone has a cough, cold or other respiratory symptoms then they must:

cover their nose and mouth with a disposable tissue when sneezing, coughing, wiping and blowing the nose;

put used tissues into a waste bin immediately after use;

wash their hands with soap and water after coughing, sneezing, using tissues, or after contact with respiratory secretions or objects contaminated by these secretions;

keep hands away from the eyes nose and mouth.


Staff must:

help residents with their respiratory and cough hygiene where required;

make sure that residents are given everything they need for respiratory and cough hygiene including tissues, waste bag and hand hygiene products and make sure that it is close enough for them to use;

use hand wipes followed by ABHR if there is no running water available or hand hygiene facilities are out of reach then wash your hands at the first available opportunity.


Read the respiratory and cough hygiene literature review to find out the evidence for respiratory and cough hygiene practice.