New Guidelines for Managing Emergency Patients Suspected of Ebola Infection

The American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) announced that in conjunction with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Emergency Nurses Association, it has established procedures to help emergency personnel evaluate and manage emergency patients suspected of possible Ebola infection.

A panel of experts including emergency physicians and nurses with expertise in infectious disease and disaster preparedness evaluated the new guidelines. The guidelines establish consistency for emergency care workers and reflect lessons learned from the recent experience of U.S. hospitals caring for patients with suspected Ebola.

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The CDC guidelines include advice for:

  • Assessing patients, including those for whom travel histories are unavailable (for example, when patients are unconscious). 
  • Putting on (donning) and removing (doffing) of personal protective equipment (PPE).
  • Managing and isolating patients who may have Ebola.
  • Informing hospital personnel and other authorities about possible infection.
  • Providing direct observation of health care workers during the donning and doffing processes for PPE.

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