Health care/social assistance Occupational illnesses Personal protective equipment

New Ebola guidelines address PPE for health care workers

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Washington – To help protect health care workers and other first responders against Ebola virus exposure, the InterAgency Board for Equipment Standardization and Interoperability has released a new set of recommendations for using personal protective equipment.

The recommendations, which were issued Oct. 24, build on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s guidance on Ebola and the use of PPE.

IAB said health care workers must put on PPE in the correct order, stating that the order depends on the specific items being used because “the donning process is affected by how interfaces are formed.” N95 respirators never should be taped to the hood of a protective covering, according to the agency.

IAB’s recommendations for removing PPE include the following:

  • Workers must assume any surface could be contaminated.
  • All doffing must be performed under supervision and with help as needed.
  • Final items removed should be face/eye protection or the respirator, along with inner gloves.

If the worker or someone who is assisting the worker touches a potentially contaminated surface or PPE item, that person should rinse his or her gloved hands with a decontamination solution that does not cause the gloves to degrade. In some cases, IAB states, it is possible to cut the garment to permit easier doffing.