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 Emergency Department (ED) Patients with Possible EVD: Choosing Adequate PPE

The selection of adequate PPE used when collecting specimens from an ED patient suspected to have EVD is based on the patient's travel history and clinical status. For a patient presenting with an exposure history (eg, lives in or has traveled to a country with widespread Ebola transmission) and none of the Ebola-related symptoms (eg, fever ≥100.4, muscle pain, diarrhea, etc.), the facility may choose to utilize the minimum protection recommended, which includes a face shield, surgical mask, impermeable gown, and two pairs of gloves. The patient is not contagious at this point. This is in contrast to the need for "full-scale" protection, designed for the care of a hospitalized patient (discussed in the next section) or a patient exhibiting Ebola-related symptoms, in which additional PPE must be worn to ensure that no skin is exposed. This is necessary with confirmed/hospitalized cases, when the patient presents with specific signs or symptoms (eg, vomiting, bleeding, or copious diarrhea), or when the patient must undergo invasive or aerosol-producing procedures (eg, active resuscitation, intubation, suctioning). Always refer to and strictly adhere to your facility's policies and procedures regarding proper selection and usage of PPE.
The complete CDC document, Identify, Isolate, Inform: Emergency Department Evaluation and Management for Patients Who Present with Possible Ebola Virus Disease, is available at: Accessed November 10, 2014.