CDC releases EMS checklist for detecting, managing Ebola
The guidelines highlight key areas to enhance overall preparation and response to potential or diagnosed Ebola patients
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently released a checklist aimed at preparing EMS agencies to recognize and treat patients with Ebola.
- Train all EMS personnel on how to identify signs and symptoms of Ebola infections and to avoid risk of exposure
- Consider travelers with fever, fatigue, vomiting and/or diarrhea and returning from affected West African countries as potential cases, and obtain additional history.
- Post screening criteria in conspicuous locations in EMS units, at EMS stations, and in other locations frequented by EMS personnel (see suggested screening criteria).
- Designate points of contact within their EMS organization/system responsible for communicating with state and local public health officials. Remember: Ebola must be reported to local, state, and federal public health authorities.
- Conduct a detailed inventory of available supplies of PPE suitable for standard, contact, and droplet precautions. Ensure an adequate supply, for EMS personnel, of:
- Fluid resistant or impermeable gowns
- Shoe covers, boots, and booties
- Maintain an appropriate combination of the following:
- Eye protection (face shield or goggles)
- Facemasks (goggles or face shield must be worn with facemasks)
- N95 respirators (for use during aerosol-generating procedures)
- Other infection control supplies (e.g. hand hygiene supplies).
- Ensure procedures are in place to require that all EMS personnel accompanying a patient in a transport unit are wearing (at minimum): gloves, gown (fluid resistant or impermeable), eye protection (goggles or face shield), and a facemask
- Review, develop, and implement plans for: adequate respiratory support, safe administration of medication, and sharps procedures; and reinforce proper biohazard containment and disposal precautions
- Plan for regular situational briefs for decision-makers, including:
- PUI for Ebola who have been identified and reported to public health authorities
- Isolation, quarantine and exposure reports
- Supplies and logistical challenges
- Personnel status
- Policy decisions on contingency plans and staffing