Review Details Safety and Health Controls for Ebola Care in the U.S.

Measures described in first U.S. community hospital to care for patients with Ebola virus disease
Measures described in first U.S. community hospital to care for patients with Ebola virus disease

HealthDay News — Infection control measures have been developed to strengthen hospitals' capacity for safely diagnosing and treating patients with Ebola virus disease (EVD), according to a review published online May 10 in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

Kristin J. Cummings, MD, MPH, from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Morgantown, WV, and colleagues describe infection control measures that were implemented at a Texas hospital, which was the first U.S. community hospital to care for a patient with EVD.

The researchers note that a multidisciplinary team from the CDC joined the hospital's infection preventionists after admission of the first EVD patient, in order to implement occupational safety and health controls for direct patient care, handling of clinical specimens, and management of regulated medical waste. The team strengthened existing engineering and administrative controls. In addition, personal protective equipment (PPE) ensemble was standardized, health care professionals were trained in PPE use, and there was implementation of a system of trained observers supervising PPE use. Considerable demands are placed on a community hospital when caring for patients with EVD.

"The experiences of the authors and others informed national policies for the care of patients with EVD and protection of health care personnel, including new guidance for PPE, a rapid system for deploying CDC staff to assist hospitals ('Ebola Response Team'), and a framework for a tiered approach to hospital preparedness," the authors write.

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