Introduction: NANDA Nursing Diagnosis – Contamination

NANDA Nursing Diagnosis is a classification of the factors that influence health states. The most recent edition of NANDA International’s Taxonomy II (11th Ed) lists 19 nursing diagnoses which categorise and identify a human response to health or lifestyle conditions, or to a treatment. In this post, we are looking at ‘contamination’, one of the diagnoses identified by NANDA International.

NANDA Nursing Diagnosis Definition

The NANDA Nursing Diagnosis definition for Contamination states: An exposure to harmful substances or elements that exceed in quality or quantity our capacity to cope; resulting from environmental or biological factors, or from separation from cultural/familial values.

Defining Characteristics

Subjective Data:

  • Complaint of illness
  • Cries about pain
  • Expresses concern about health risk
  • Fear of consequences from exposure
  • Perceived threat of harm

Objective Data:

  • Confusion
  • Difficulty making decisions
  • Dizziness
  • Evidence of infection
  • Headache
  • Increased sweating
  • Increased urine output
  • Itchiness
  • Skin rash
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Weight gain/loss

Related Factors

  • Air pollution
  • Environmental stressors
  • Food insecurity
  • Inadequate protection from environmental contaminants
  • Inadequate resources
  • Lack of knowledge and understanding of contamination safety procedures
  • Poor nutrition
  • Substance abuse
  • Use of contaminated products
  • Violence in the community

Risk Population

Those who are most at risk of Contamination include individuals:

  • Living in a contaminated environment
  • Living with a compromised immune system
  • Without access to appropriate medical care
  • Without adequate personal hygiene measures

Associated Problems

Problems associated with Contamination can include:

  • Infection or sepsis
  • Developmental delays in children
  • Physical impairment
  • Psychological trauma

Suggestions for Use

A diagnosis of Contamination can be used to help identify both the cause of illness and prepare a comprehensive plan of care.

A risk assessment should be carried out for any individual or group in the community deemed to be at higher risk of Contamination. This should include adequate access to medical care, efforts to reduce pollutants and other sources of contamination in the environment, safe food and water practices, and enabling individuals to develop and use good personal hygiene.

Suggested Alternative NANDA Diagnoses

Alternative NANDA diagnoses to consider when working with an individual or community affected by Contamination include:

  • Low Health Literacy
  • Ineffective Breathing Pattern
  • Ineffective Coping
  • Risk for Infection
  • Risk for Injury
  • Risk for Sudden Infant Death Syndrome

Usage Tips

When documenting Contamination in a nursing record, it is important that the source and type of contamination be clearly identified in order to enable sound clinical decision making.

NOC Results

The following Outcomes are related to Contamination:

  • Breathing Pattern: Ventilation effectiveness without compromise
  • Coping: Verbalization of strategies to prevent/minimize illness
  • Knowledge: Health promotion/disease prevention
  • Nutrition: Achievement of nutritional requirements/choices
  • Sensory-Perception: Environmental contamination control
  • Self-Care: Ability to perform hygiene/showering activities

NIC Interventions

Following are the interventions related to Contamination identified by NANDA International:

  • Chemical Utilization: Management of hazardous materials and waste disposal
  • Environmental Management: Prevention of hazardous/noxious exposure
  • Health Education: Disease process/transmission/prevention information
  • Infection Control: Handwashing technique/decontamination of environmental surfaces
  • Nutrition Monitoring: Observation for nutrient choices/guidance for dietary pattern selection


NANDA’s Contamination diagnosis can be used to highlight the environmental factors that can adversely affect health. Risk assessments and interventions targeted at reducing exposure to contamination should be developed for all individuals and communities at risk of Contamination.


  • What is NANDA Nursing Diagnosis? NANDA International is an organization that categorises and identifies human responses to health and lifestyle conditions. NANDA Nursing Diagnosis is a classification of the factors that influence health states.
  • Who is most at risk of Contamination? Those who are most at risk of Contamination include individuals living in a contaminated environment, those with a compromised immune system, those without access to appropriate medical care and those without adequate personal hygiene measures.

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