ANA Reacts to New Guidance from the CDC to Ensure Patient, Health Care Professional Safety (10/20/14)

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October 20, 2014

Adam Sachs, 301-628-5034 or 443-540-6075

Kelly Mack, 202-296-2002 ext. 113 or 202-368-2534

Jemarion Jones, 301-628-5198 or 703-585-9840 

ANA Reacts to New Guidance from the CDC to Ensure Patient, Health Care Professional Safety

SILVER SPRING, MD – In the wake of recent events, including the transmission of Ebola to two registered nurses who cared for an infected patient in Dallas, the American Nurses Association (ANA) has been calling on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to issue clear, concrete guidelines, in particular about the use of personal protective equipment (PPE), to ensure the safety of health care professionals and the public. The CDC previewed revised PPE recommendations tonight on a teleconference. Officials indicated the full guidelines would be posted on the CDC website soon. Changes that were highlighted on the call include:

  • Prior to working with Ebola patients, health care professionals need to engage in repeated hands-on training and demonstrate competence in putting on and removing PPE
  • Use of full PPE with no skin exposure
  • Implementation of a system where at all times a trained supervisor observes and documents the putting on and removing of PPE

ANA will conduct a detailed review of the revised guidelines and provide feedback to the CDC; however, upon initial review, ANA President Pamela F. Cipriano, PhD, RN, NEA-BC, FAAN, said, “We are appreciative that the CDC has responded to nurses and health care professionals nationwide and acknowledged the need for clear, consistent guidelines for those caring for Ebola patients to ensure the highest levels of care and protection for patients and health care professionals.

“Today’s guidance moves us forward; it is consistent with ANA’s recommendations that health care organizations adopt PPE standards that have been demonstrated to provide effective protection for nurses and other health care professionals in the clinical setting when caring for confirmed Ebola patients, such as those used by Doctors Without Borders and the protocols developed by Emory University Hospital and the University of Nebraska Medical Center.”

ANA plans to disseminate and provide education about these best practices and protocols.

“Further, ANA believes that a solution-oriented, collaborative approach that includes interprofessional, state and federal organizations is essential to preventing any spread of Ebola and managing care of infected patients effectively in the United States,” said Cipriano.

“As the Ebola situation continues to evolve, we commend nurses and other members of the health care team for their vigilance, dedication and commitment to providing excellent care to all patients. We also send our sincere wishes for a swift and full recovery to nurses Pham and Vinson. We remain steadfast in supporting the two nurses, their families, colleagues and communities.”

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ANA is the only full-service professional organization representing the interests of the nation's 3.1 million registered nurses through its constituent and state nurses associations and its organizational affiliates. ANA advances the nursing profession by fostering high standards of nursing practice, promoting the rights of nurses in the workplace, projecting a positive and realistic view of nursing, and by lobbying the Congress and regulatory agencies on health care issues affecting nurses and the public.