On October 20th, the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released stricter guidance on Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) recommended for healthcare workers treating patients with the Ebola virus.
The new enhanced guidance from CDC is centered on three principles:
- All healthcare workers undergo rigorous training and are practiced and competent with PPE, including putting it on and taking it off in a systemic manner
- No skin exposure when PPE is worn
- All workers are supervised by a trained monitor who watches each worker putting PPE on and taking it off.
These principles and other guidance listed on the new advisory appear to be geared towards healthcare facilities and are based on lessons learned from those hospitals and clinics that have treated Ebola cases in the US thus far, including Emory University Hospital, Nebraska Medical Center and National Institutes of Health Clinical Center.
Also on October 20th, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) and Boston Public Health Commission released updated clinical guidance on sending in patient specimens for laboratory testing for suspected Ebola cases. According to DPH, prior to sending a sample, the facility should consult the MDPH Hinton State Laboratory Institute for specimen collection, handling, packaging and transport advice via the 24/7 lab number (617-590-6390).
More information will be shared as it becomes available.
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