Tuesday, October 14, 2014

The Insanely Complicated Instructions the CDC Gives to Medical Personnel Who Treat Ebola Paitients

There is no Center for Disease Control readily available  Personal Protective Equipment Training video on you tube, Instead there are the below cards.

 VOX writes:

 An American health-care worker who is part of a team that knows it's treating an Ebola patient is supposed to be able to protect herself.

So what happened?

The simple answer is that the Ebola treatment protocols are complicated. It helps to look at this Centers for Disease Control and Prevention checklist. These are the instructions the federal agency gives caregivers for how to take off the protective gear that workers wear when treating patients with deadly diseases, like Ebola. It is 21 items long. There are full sections on the gloves, and the gowns, and the face mask —each with multiple steps. Imagine trying to keep all this in mind while also trying to treat a patient:

There are "ifs" and "thens" and asterisks to better define terms. There's a big caveat at the bottom about what to do if the checklist fails and hands get contaminated, but nothing about other body parts.

Then, there's a whole other page outlining an alternative way to remove the gear, with no clear preference expressed for when which method ought to be used.


  1. This really isn't that bad. It's something they are trained to do and they do every day. I was trained as a combat lifesaver in the Marines. Really just introduction to first aid in case someone happens to the corpsman and i learned how to do all this. In my civilian life, as part of my company's first responder team, i was also trained how to do this in case i my be exposed to blood borne pathogens and i work in the electric motor repair business.

  2. This is just the proper way to doff PPE that has been worn in a hazardous environment. The procedures are similar to those I use after handling hazardous chemicals. While the equipment is different the basic idea is there. A caveat to this is that Ebola is considered a bioweapon (VHF) only suitable for study under in a Biosafety level 4 (most secure and most protection) lab, and I do think that with the amount of gross contamination emminating from infected individuals that should be minimum in treating, i.e. supplied air, bubble suit and chemical showers during decon.