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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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Collecting Specimens from Hospitalized Patients With EVD: Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

When collecting specimens from a suspect EVD patient, the worker wearing PPE should have NO exposed skin.
A complete list (and detailed explanation for compliance) of the recommended PPE worn to collect specimens from a hospitalized patient undergoing investigation for EVD is included in the referenced CDC document below. Recommended PPE items include:
  • Single-use, NIOSH-certified, fit-tested N95 respirator combined with a single-use surgical hood that extends to the shoulders (covers all hair, ears, and neck) and a single-use full face shield
  • Double gloving with single-use, extended cuff, nitrile gloves
  • Disposable, fluid-resistant gown that extends to at least mid-calf or coveralls
  • Single-use, fluid-resistant foot coverings that go to at least mid-calf or leg covers
  • Single-use, fluid-resistant apron that covers the torso and extends down to mid-calf
Before collecting specimens from a hospitalized EVD patient, your facility must provide repeated training and require that you demonstrate competence in performing all Ebola-related infection control practices/procedures, specifically in proper donning/doffing PPE procedures.
Facility-specific isolation protocols and/or risk assessment should also be incorporated when determining the appropriate PPE that should be worn by healthcare personnel collecting specimens from hospitalized EVD patients. These enhanced PPE guidelines will also apply to patients that present to an emergency department exhibiting Ebola-related symptoms.
To protect healthcare workers who are caring for patients with Ebola, healthcare facilities must provide onsite management and oversight of adherence to safely using PPE and implement administrative and environmental controls with continuous safety checks through direct observation of healthcare workers, including during the PPE donning and doffing steps.
The complete CDC document, Guidance on Personal Protective Equipment To Be Used by Healthcare Workers During Management of Patients with Ebola Virus Disease in U.S. Hospitals, Including Procedures for Putting On (Donning) and Removing (Doffing), is available at: http://www.cdc.gov/vhf/ebola/hcp/procedures-for-ppe.html. Accessed December 6, 2018.