Today the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued new guidelines for hospital healthcare workers caring for patients with Ebola. The Rhode Island Department of Health has promulgated those guidelines to all RI healthcare facilities and providers to ensure they are aware of the new standards and comply with them.
The new guidance, broken down into three major recommendations, emphasizes the specific personal protective equipment (PPE) healthcare workers should use. The guidance also provides detailed step-by-step instructions for how to properly put the equipment on and take it off safely.
The three major recommendations by the CDC ensure that: • Healthcare workers dealing with Ebola patients are repeatedly trained when it comes to learning how to put on and take off personal protective equipment. • The equipment used covers all skin, leaving none exposed. • A trained observer or site manager monitors that these regulations are being followed by those who take on and off their personal protective equipment. "Healthcare workers are at the highest risk for exposure. We want to make sure that all of our facilities and all of our devoted healthcare workers in Rhode Island are aware of the updated recommendations by the CDC," says Director of Health, Michael Fine, M.D. "As the guidance continues to evolve, we are getting this information out as soon as possible to those who are on the frontlines."
CDC reminds all employers and healthcare workers that PPE is only one aspect of infection control and providing safe care to patients with Ebola. It is critical to focus on other prevention activities to halt the spread of Ebola in healthcare settings, including: •Prompt screening and triage of potential patients • Designated site managers to ensure proper implementation of precautions • Limiting personnel in the isolation room • Effective environmental cleaning
For more information about CDC's new guidance, visit. http://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2014/fs1020-ebola-personal-protective-equipment.html
Rhode Island Department of Health information on Ebola: http://www.health.ri.gov/diseases/viralhemorrhagicfever/?parm=139