The page below is a sample from the LabCE course Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) and Clinical Laboratory Safety in the United States. Access the complete course and earn ASCLS P.A.C.E.-approved continuing education credits by subscribing online.

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Developing a Laboratory Plan for Patients Suspected of Having EVD

A risk assessment should be performed by the appropriate personnel within each laboratory to determine the potential for generating sprays, splashes, or aerosols during laboratory procedures performed within the facility. Each laboratory should work with hospital experts to develop a site-specific plan that includes processes designed to protect workers who are known or likely to be exposed to EVD.
At a minimum, the plan should provide detailed procedures that address issues that include:
  • Infection control practices
  • Specimen collection and handling procedures
  • Appropriate PPE, including proper selection, use (putting on and removing), and training
  • Limiting laboratory-performed testing to only tests deemed medically necessary
  • Specimen transport and shipping procedures
  • Waste and spill management procedures

Performing routine laboratory diagnostic testing on a patient with confirmed Ebola virus disease (EVD)
If testing is performed on a patient with confirmed EVD, facility-specific plans should be in place to define standardized procedures for specimen transport. The CDC will consult with the appropriate facility personnel to determine the routine laboratory diagnostic testing that should be performed. The routine testing performed will be based on the needs of the patient and the capabilities of the facility/laboratory.
Laboratories handling specimens from patients under investigation for EVD should utilize the following two documents for guidance:
  1. Interim Guidance for Specimen Collection, Transport, Testing, and Submission for Persons Under Investigation for Ebola Virus Disease in the United States. Available at: http://www.cdc.gov/vhf/ebola/hcp/interim-guidance-specimen-collection-submission-patients-suspected-infection-ebola.html. Accessed November 6, 2014.
  2. How U.S. Clinical Laboratories Can Safely Manage Specimens from Persons Under Investigation for Ebola Virus Disease. Available at: http://www.cdc.gov/vhf/ebola/hcp/safe-specimen-management.html. Accessed November 6, 2014.