CDC Updates PPE Guidance for Ebola

Ebola Workers Suit Up in Protective Gear
Image credit: Athalia Christie
Image credit: Athalia Christie

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) updated official guidance, effective Oct. 20, for personal protective equipment to be used by healthcare workers during management of patients with Ebola Virus Disease.

The guidance is geared for U.S. hospitals, and includes procedures for putting on (donning) and removing (doffing) equipment.

The document reflects lessons learned from the recent experiences of U.S. hospitals caring for Ebola patients and emphasizes the importance of training, practice, competence, and observation of healthcare workers in correct donning and doffing of PPE selected by the facility.

This guidance contains the following key principles:

  • Prior to working with Ebola patients, all healthcare workers involved in the care of Ebola patients must have received repeated training and have demonstrated competency in performing all Ebola-related infection control practices and procedures, and specifically in donning/doffing proper PPE.
  • While working in PPE, healthcare workers caring for Ebola patients should have no skin exposed.
  • The overall safe care of Ebola patients in a facility must be overseen by an onsite manager at all times, and each step of every PPE donning/doffing procedure must be supervised by a trained observer to ensure proper completion of established PPE protocols.

In healthcare settings, Ebola is spread through direct contact (e.g., through broken skin or through mucous membranes of the eyes, nose, or mouth) with blood or body fluids of a person who is sick with Ebola or with objects (e.g., needles, syringes) that have been contaminated with the virus. For all healthcare workers caring for Ebola patients, PPE with full body coverage is recommended to further reduce the risk of self-contamination.

“To protect healthcare workers during care of an Ebola patient, healthcare facilities must provide onsite management and oversight on the safe use of PPE and implement administrative and environmental controls with continuous safety checks through direct observation of healthcare workers during the PPE donning and doffing processes,” states the CDC.

Read the entire document: CDC Ebola PPE Procedures & Guidance.

Access additional non-CDC resources on Ebola PPE:

Source: CDC.gov, adapted.

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