Friday, October 16, 2009

Updated Interim Guidance on Infection Control Measures for 2009 H1N1 Influenza in Healthcare Settings

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued updated recommendations on both administrative controls and engineering controls to eliminate sources of infection and prevent transmission of pandemic H1N1 within healthcare facilities.

Revisions from earlier guidance include: criteria for identification of suspected influenza patients; recommended time away from work for healthcare personnel; changes to isolation precautions based on tasks and anticipated exposures; expansion of information on interventions using a hierarchy of controls approach; changes in recommendations on the routine use of gowns and eye protection; and changes to guidance on use of respiratory protection.

According to the report, to ensure a comprehensive infection control strategy, healthcare facilities will want to:

  • Vaccinate their workforce with seasonal and 2009 H1N1 vaccines.
  • Keep sick workers at home.
  • Enforce respiratory hygiene and cough etiquette.
  • Enhance hand hygiene compliance.
  • Establish facility access control measures and triage procedures.
  • Manage visitor access and movement within the facility.
  • Control patient placement and transport.
  • Apply isolation precautions.

The report goes into more detail about how exactly institutions can go about ensuring that these controls are implemented.

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