Ebola: CDC clarifies EMS minimum PPE levels

Guidance on minimum PPE for known or suspected Ebola patients updated on December 2, 2014

The CDC has updated its Interim Guidance for Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Systems and 9-1-1 Public Safety Answering Points (PSAPs) for Management of Patients Who Present With Possible Ebola Virus Disease in the United States.

The updated information clarifies the minimum PPE levels for EMS personnel and first responders, and ensures EMS personnel receive the same information and guidance that is being shared with emergency department personnel and other healthcare providers.

Deciding which option of PPE to utilized should be based on the clinical presentation of the patient, and whether he or she is exhibiting or not exhibiting "obvious bleeding, vomiting, or diarrhea and there is no concern for bleeding, vomiting, or diarrhea." PPE is to be donned before entering the patient's area and worn until the providers are no longer in contact with the patient.

EMS personnel, first responders, and EMS leaders are reminded that this interim guidance is subject to change. Additional updates will be posted, as needed, on the CDC Ebola webpage and reported in the EMS1 special coverage section on Ebola.

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