CDC DELETES controversial guidelines for hospital hazmat suits to battle Ebola

This suit was state-of-the art in 2002, but now the CDC isn't sure what to recommend for doctors and nurses who treat Ebola patientsDaily Mail – by David Martosko

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention quietly deleted its advice to hospitals on Sunday covering what kind of ‘personal protective equipment’ – the hazmat suits known as PPE – health care workers should wear around possible or confirmed Ebola patients.

The changes to the CDC’s website were made Saturday, the same day the embattled agency issued new overall guidelines about what kind of care Ebola sufferers should receive in hospitals.  

‘Don’t have any physical contact with the patient (e.g., perform examination, collect clinical samples, position for x-rays) without first putting on appropriate PPE,’ the new advice reads.’

‘Don’t allow family members to visit without putting on appropriate PPE,’ the CDC adds

As a result of the changes the CDC is now telling hospitals to make sure hazmat suits are used, but leaving them without information about what kinds of equipment provides the best protection.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said Sunday that new guidelines would include a requirement that Ebola hazmat suits must be worn ‘with no skin showing.’

The previous CDC advice included a note about ‘re-useable’ hazmat suits, which the CDC said must be ‘cleaned and disinfected according to the manufacturer’s reprocessing instructions and hospital policies.’

Concerns about the reuse of supplies during disease outbreaks were common 10 to 15 years ago when fear of mad cow disease gripped the United States and Great Britain.

In that case, doctors feared that surgical instruments could transmit the brain-wasting ailment from one patient to another if they weren’t put in an autoclave – a sterilization pressure chamber – at the highest possible temperatures.

Ebola, a virus first documented in Africa in 1976, has killed thousands in three western African nations this year.

Three confirmed cases have been diagnosed in the United States – enough to cause public panics and force hospitals to rethink their approach to treating the illness.

Two of those diagnosed patients, nurses Amber Vinson and Nina Pham, cared for Ebola patient Thomas Duncan. They wore face shields, protective footwear and full hazmat suits, but contracted the disease anyway.

A third nurse, Briana Aguirre, told am NBC interviewer that she worked at the same hospital as Pham and Vinson, and cared for them when they fell ill.

Health care workers, she said, were not told what kind of hazmat suits to wear.

Aguirre was outraged when her own suit didn’t cover her neck, and a supervisor told her to seal the gap with strips of ordinary tape.

Ebola is spread through contact with bodily fluids like blood, sweat and saliva, making health care facilities an ideal place for transmission to occur.

Changes to the CDC’s website were first spotted by The Weekly Standard. The agency told that publication that new guidance would be issued ‘today or possibly tomorrow.’

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