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CDC releases new Ebola guidelines for ED workers

Accreditation Insider, October 28, 2014

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In the wake of criticism of the U.S. response to patients with the Ebola virus, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) this week issued new guidelines for emergency departments on how to evaluate and manage patients who present with possible Ebola symptoms.

The guidelines provide triage recommendations including taking a relevant exposure history of the patient, including whether the patient lived in or traveled to a country with widespread Ebola transmission or had contact with a confirmed Ebola patient in the previous three weeks. Patients who meet the exposure criteria should be questioned about whether they have signs or symptoms of Ebola, including fever, weakness, muscle pain, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, and bleeding.

If those signs are present, the patient should be isolated immediately in a private room or separate enclosed area. Only healthcare workers with designated roles should provide care, and they should wear appropriate personal protective equipment. A log should be maintained to track all personnel who enter the patient’s room. The hospital infection control program should be notified, as well as the local health department. The decision to test the patient for Ebola should be made in consultation with the local health department.

Read the guidelines here.



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