The Association for the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation (AAMI) is reporting that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is urging hospitals to clean and disinfect all non-disposable medical equipment used on Ebola patients “according to manufacturer’s instructions and hospital policies.”
The recommendation does not break any new ground in terms of infection control and medical equipment, but its inclusion in a broader list of what healthcare facilities should do as the Ebola crisis unfolds underscores a growing interest in fighting the spread of the deadly virus on all fronts.
The CDC guidance, titled Infection Prevention and Control Recommendations for Hospitalized Patients with Known or Suspect Ebola Virus Disease in U.S. Hospitals, lists 10 components for healthcare facilities to consider, including patient placement, personal protective equipment, hand hygiene, and patient care equipment.
In terms of patient care equipment, the CDC recommends the following:
1. “Dedicated medical equipment (preferably disposable, when possible) should be used for the provision of patient care.
2. All non-dedicated, non-disposable medical equipment used for patient care should be cleaned and disinfected according to manufacturer's instructions and hospital policies.”
The ongoing Ebola outbreak, which originated and remains concentrated in West Africa, is now the largest Ebola outbreak in history with more than 4,000 deaths, according to the CDC. One man who had traveled to Liberia where he contracted the virus, died in a Texas hospital. A nurse who treated that man has contracted the disease and is being treated in that same hospital. Three American health workers, including two doctors who contracted the Ebola virus while working in West Africa, have successfully been treated for the disease in U.S. hospitals.