CDC to revise Ebola protocol, Pentagon preps team
Published 9:36 am Monday, October 20, 2014
ATLANTA — Revised guidance for health care workers treating Ebola patients will include using protective gear “with no skin showing,” a top federal health official said Sunday, and the Pentagon announced it was forming a team to assist medical staff in the U.S., if needed.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said those caring for an Ebola patient in Dallas were vulnerable because some of their skin was exposed.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is working on revisions to safety protocols. Earlier ones, he said, were based on a World Health Organization model in which care was given in more remote places, often outdoors, and without intensive training for health workers.
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“So there were parts about that protocol that left vulnerability, parts of the skin that were open,” Fauci said.
The CDC guidance was expected as early as Saturday, but its release has been pushed back while it continues to go through review by experts and government officials.
Health officials had previously allowed hospitals some flexibility to use available covering when dealing with suspected Ebola patients. The new guidelines are expected to set a firmer standard: calling for full-body suits and hoods that protect worker’s necks, setting rigorous rules for removal of equipment and disinfection of hands, and calling for a “site manager” to supervise the putting on and taking off of equipment.