Preparing a Community Hospital to Manage Work-related Exposures to Infectious Agents in BioSafety Level 3 and 4 Laboratories
Published Date:Mar 2010
Source:Emerg Infect Dis. 16(3):373-378.
Communicable Disease Control
Containment Of Biohazards
Medical Laboratory Personnel
Viral Hemorrhagic Fevers
Description:Construction of new BioSafety Level (BSL) 3 and 4 laboratories has raised concerns regarding provision of care to exposed workers because of healthcare worker (HCW) unfamiliarity with precautions required. When the National Institutes of Health began construction of a new BSL-4 laboratory in Hamilton, Montana, USA, in 2005, they contracted with St. Patrick Hospital in Missoula, Montana, for care of those exposed. A care and isolation unit is described. We developed a training program for HCWs that emphasized the optimal use of barrier precautions and used pathogen-specific modules and simulations with mannequins and fluorescent liquids that represented infectious body fluids. The facility and training led to increased willingness among HCWs to care for patients with all types of communicable diseases. This model may be useful for other hospitals, whether they support a BSL-4 facility, are in the proximity of a BSL-3 facility, or are interested in upgrading their facilities to prepare for exotic and novel infectious diseases.
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