In response to the recent diagnosis of Ebola in two U.S. healthcare workers, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has released new recommended guidelines for personal protective equipment (PPE) when caring for patients with the disease.
The new guidelines focus on clearly defining which types of PPE healthcare workers should use and provides thorough instructions for how to put the PPE on and take it off safely. The guidelines were created based on recent experiences treating patients with Ebola at Emory University Hospital in Atlanta, GA, Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha, NE, and National Institutes of Health Clinical Center in Bethesda, MD.
As stated by the CDC, the new recommendations are centered on three principles:
- All healthcare workers undergo rigorous training and are practiced and competent with PPE, including taking it on and off in a systematic 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.
In addition, the CDC asks health care workers to remember to “Think Ebola” and to “Care Carefully.”