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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has clarified its guidance regarding personal protective equipment (PPE) for healthcare personnel caring for suspected and confirmed Ebola patients in U.S. healthcare facilities.
Based on feedback from healthcare facilities that have implemented the current guidance (originally posted October 2014), the guidance clarifies the use of fluid-resistant and impermeable gowns and coveralls. Specifications are provided in the guidance to assist facilities in selecting and ordering the recommended garments.
In addition to clarifying the specifications of gowns and coveralls recommended, the PPE guidance for confirmed Ebola patients is being updated with additional explanation, including:
• Expanding the rationale why respiratory protection is recommended when caring for an Ebola patient
• Clarifying that the trained observer should not serve as an assistant for taking off (doffing) PPE
• Suggesting that a designated doffing assistant or “buddy” might be helpful, especially in doffing with the Powered Air Purifying Respirator (PAPR) option;
• Modifying the PAPR doffing procedure to make the steps more clear
• Changing the order of boot cover removal. Boot covers are now removed after the gown or coverall
• Emphasizing the importance of frequent cleaning of the floor in the doffing area.
The updated PPE guidance for confirmed Ebola patients can be found on CDC’s website: http://www.cdc.gov/vhf/ebola/healthcare-us/ppe/guidance.html.
CDC’s PPE guidance for clinically stable persons under investigation for Ebola can be found here: http://www.cdc.gov/vhf/ebola/healthcare-us/ppe/guidance-clinically-stable-puis.html
The frequently asked questions page can be found here: http://www.cdc.gov/vhf/ebola/healthcare-us/ppe/faq.html