Clearing the AIR about the Ebola Scare
The monitoring and management of hospital personnel potentially exposed to patients with Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) has brought a renewed focus to the protocols, equipment and isolation rooms used in these quarantine situations. Although Ebola is not considered an airborne disease, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends that healthcare facilities restrict certain procedures and treatment for Ebola patients to a private room – ideally an Airborne Infection Isolation Room (AIIR) – when feasible.
In a healthcare facility, control of airborne contaminants is essential to providing a safe, healing environment. Yet many healthcare facilities today still rely on smoke tubes or flutter strips to check the airflow and differential pressure of critical healthcare areas, including the AIIRs being used when treating certain infectious diseases. This despite guidelines from the CDC, Joint Commission and ANSI/ASHRAE/ASHE that call for permanently installed monitoring devices for more precise control and safety.
With the Ebola scare, hospitals around the country are quickly realizing they need to adopt a more consistent, continuous, automated method of monitoring for CDC compliance, not only for Ebola, but also for patients with serious, communicable airborne diseases.
The challenge is time. Installing most environmental monitoring systems often requires additional transmitters, bridges or other hardware in addition to the installation of the sensors themselves. However, customers using or adopting the SNS™ platform are leveraging their existing network infrastructure for continuous monitoring simply by adding SNS™ Differential Pressure Monitoring sensors, one of several Wi-Fi based indoor air quality sensors from Primex Wireless.
As your organization considers its differential pressure monitoring situation going forward, Primex Wireless is here to help. Below is a list of reference websites and a link to guidelines for using differential pressure monitoring to protect patients, caregivers and visitors.
- The CDC has information available online covering its infection prevention and control recommendations for hospitalized patients with known or suspected EVD in U.S. hospitals
- The CDCs “Health Care Facility Preparedness Checklist for Ebola Virus Disease” can be found here.
- Information on EVD on the CDC website including clinical guidance, prevention, signs and symptoms, and other useful links at http://www.cdc.gov/vhf/ebola/index.html.
- Information provided by OSHA can be found here.
- Other organizations have created information sheets or portals. Click the link to take you directly to their information: