APEMS ALERTS: APEMS offices will be closed on Monday, April 20th for Partiot’s Day
NEW: Bloodborne Pathogens Online Course
Available now! 24/7 – at your convenience! As required by OSHA/BLS all staff within your agency must be trained in the dangers of and precautions against Bloodborne Pathogens. With a grant from the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration, we have developed a 1.5 hour online course. This comprehensive six-unit course will provide the following information:
- Overview & news related to bloodborne pathogens
- Scanning for risks
- Understanding risks – what diseases can be transmitted
- Protecting against bloodborne pathogens
- Eliminating the pathogens – decontaminating equipment and surfaces
- Reporting requirements
This training, combined with the review of your site-specific plan, will satisfy the annual requirement. You will receive 1.5 hours of continuing education upon successful completion.
You can find this training on the Maine EMS Education (MEMSEd) system at www.maine.gov/ems
Check out—Rick Tarr of APEMS takes his portable driving simulators through schools and community centers, as part of a campaign to curb distracted driving in Maine
Doffing PPE post exposure to a potential Emerging Infectious Disease (EID) patient
1. There is no need for a HAZMAT-type decon when doffing PPE post-exposure.
A. Your Hospital should provide a means to safely doff PPE, including showers. There have been no recommendations to date that call for a HAZMAT decon level type of procedure for ebola. Methodical, stepwise, monitored doffing is the standard set and practiced at the health centers who have successfully treated ebola patients here in the US with no breakdowns or infected health care workers to date.
B. If you contact a potential EID patient at a scene and do not transport to the Hospital, you should follow the same methodical, stepwise, monitored doffing procedure and contain the PPE in a red Biohazard bag, double-bagged. There is a contract through the state for disposal of the contaminated PPE, so you should contact your local Hospital and request assistance with disposal of the PPE (and anything else that is contaminated). This may include the hospital bringing you one of the disposal containers, or requesting the disposal company to come directly to you at the scene.
The key to successfully doffing the PPE is that you take the time to follow the procedures. Service should place a checklist on each of their ambulances to be followed by the provider and observer. Prior to doffing, the observer should visually inspect the provider and look for obvious contamination. If any contamination is seen, spray the area with your disinfectant solution (fresh bleach solution or commercial product), let it sit and dry, then start the doffing process
The CDC has released a donning/doffing video that is a little more than 13 minutes long and is a good reference/training tool. The link to the video is below:
Coping With Stress During Infectious Disease Outbreaks
SAMHSA Pamphlet on What You Should Know
When you hear, read, or watch news about an outbreak of an infectious disease such as Ebola, you may feel anxious and show signs of stress—even when the outbreak affects people far from where you live and you are at low or no risk of getting sick. These signs of stress are normal, and may be more likely or pronounced in people with loved ones in parts of the world affected by the outbreak. In the wake of an infectious disease outbreak, monitor your own physical and mental health. Know the signs of stress in yourself and your loved ones. Know how to relieve stress, and know when to get help.
Paste this link into your browser to print: store.samhsa.gov/shin/content//SMA14-4885/SMA14-4885.pdf