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3M Infection Prevention

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Supporting our customers and their patients, even during unprecedented times.

3M is committed to supporting the public health and government response to the COVID-19 pandemic, yet we understand you may have limited in-person access to your 3M sales representative. We want to provide you with access to resources that can help address some of the needs during this challenging time.

Identifying areas of potential infection risk.

During a pandemic, diligence in maintaining low healthcare-acquired infection (HAI) rates can be difficult. 3M is here to support you with holistic, science- and evidence-based solutions, guidelines, best practices, and staff education to help you reduce the risk of infection complications and minimize inefficiencies in many areas that support your ongoing HAI efforts.


  A doctor explaining something to a patient laying in a hospital bed.

Learn more about equipment and environment contamination.


  A health care worker's feet pushing a gurney.

Explore staff training and learning resources.

Equipment and Environment

  Empty seats in a hospital waiting area.

Learn more about equipment and environment contamination.

Doctors in an operating room wearing surgical caps, surgical masks, surgical gowns, and face shields.

Questions related to Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)?

3M has PPE information to help keep you safe in the fight against COVID-19.

Learn more

Everyday practices that can increase infection risk.

  • An icon of five people.

    Estimated that 1 in 25 patients will contract an infection during their hospital stay.1

    While sources of infection vary, one common source of transmission is cross- or residual-contamination from medical equipment, medical instruments, and medical supplies.

  • An icon of a hand, an exclamation mark, and a stethoscope.

    Alarming data around high-touch products.

    The data is especially alarming among high-touch products that are used with multiple patients, including medical tapes, stethoscopes, and electrocardiogram leadwires, as healthcare workers often carry these products from room-to-room without proper storage, cleaning, or disinfection between use.

  • A donut graph with the number 61.5% in the middle.

    61.5% of staff members carry rolls of tape in pockets or on stethoscopes.2

  • A donut graph with the number 85% in the middle.

    85% contamination rate of personal stethoscopes.2

  • An icon of seven single-celled organisms bunched together.

    3M data found EKG/ECG leadwires were one of the top 4 most contaminated room surfaces.3

Infection prevention in response to COVID-19.

In a 3M-sponsored survey, 118 infection preventionists shared insights into the realities of infection prevention and control during the pandemic.

Read Article

Increasing awareness of the benefits of single-use items.

  • Pre COVID-19

    A doctor with a stethoscope around her neck, leaning over a patient in a bed.

    Prior to COVID-19, the use of dedicated non-critical medical equipment for patients on transmission-based precautions was shown to prevent disease transmission.4 The Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America and Infectious Disease Society of America also released guidance about the use of single-patient use and individually packaged products as a strategy for reducing the risk of cross-contamination, and the transmission of pathogens such as Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA) and Clostridium difficile (C.diff).5,6

  • Post COVID-19

    A healthcare worker wearing safety goggles and a disposable respirator speaking with a patient in a gown and disposable face mask.

    The rapid spread of COVID-19 within long-term care facilities further demonstrated the ease of transmission and need for heightened precautions in all care settings. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, World Health Organization and European Center for Disease Prevention and Control all updated recommendations to mention the importance of dedicated medical equipment or the disinfection of non-critical patient-care devices for patients with known or suspected COVID-19.7

Single-use 3M Products

  • We’ve combined 3M’s advanced acoustic engineering with our expertise in infection prevention to create a single-patient stethoscope with excellent performance and a comfortable design.

  • Infection-prevention conscious facilities often dedicate a single roll of tape to each patient, resulting in up to 70-90% of each roll being discarded.8 To support good infection prevention practices and waste reduction, 3M offers a full portfolio of single-patient-use rolls.

An icon of a star.

Reducing waste with single-use medical products.

Adding single-use and single-patient use products to already established infection prevention and control protocols, can help provide patients and healthcare workers another line of defense against cross-contamination among people and medical equipment. Plus, single-use medical tapes may help facilities save money and reduce tape waste.

Health Matters

  • References

    1. National and state healthcare-associated infections (HAI) progress report. Center for Disease Control and Prevention web site. https://www.cdc.gov/hai/surveillance/progress-report/index.html. Published March 3, 2016. Accessed November 1, 2017
    2. McClusky J, Davis M, Dahl K. A gap in patient tape storage and use practices puts patients at risk for cutaneous fungal infections. Am J Infect Control. 2015;43(2):182-184.
    3. Jancin, Bruce. “Antibiotic-Resistant Pathogens Found on 77% of ECG Lead Wires.” Cardiology News. 2(3) (2004):14.
    4. Siegel JD, Rhinehart E, Jackson M, Chiarello L, and the Healthcare Infection Control Practices Advisory Committee. 2007 Guideline for Isolation Precautions: Preventing Transmission of Infectious Agents in Healthcare Settings. https://www.cdc.gov/infectioncontrol/guidelines/isolation/. Updated October 2017. Accessed December 12, 2017.
    5. Dubberke ER, Carling P, Carrico R, et al. Strategies to Prevent Clostridium difficile Infections in Acute Care Hospitals: 2014 Update. Infection Control & Hospital Epidemiology. 2014;35(S2):S48-S65. doi:10.1017/S0899823X00193857.
    6. Calfee DP, Salgado CD, Milstone AM, et al. Strategies to Prevent Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus Transmission and Infection in Acute Care Hospitals: 2014 Update. Infection Control & Hospital Epidemiology. 2014;35(7):772-796. doi:10.1086/676534.
    7. World Health Organization 2020, “Infection prevention and control during health care when coronavirus disease (‎COVID-19)‎ is suspected or confirmed.”
    8. Infection Control Today Vol. 17, No. 1,