New guidelines released for EMS handling of special pathogens

April 10, 2024
EMS Fire engine ambulance

NETEC publishes model procedural guidelines for emergency services

On March 5, 2024, the National Emerging Special Pathogens Training and Education Center (NETEC) introduced a comprehensive set of guidelines designed to aid Emergency Medical Services (EMS) in managing high-consequence infectious disease (HCID) patients.

This initiative, aiming to enhance preparedness and response capabilities, aligns with the Administration for Strategic Preparedness and Response’s “EMS Infectious Disease Playbook.”

The newly released EMS Model Procedural Guidelines for Special Pathogens provide a detailed framework that EMS agencies can customize and integrate into their existing policies and procedures.

These guidelines enumerate step-by-step instructions for various critical processes, including the proper donning and doffing of personal protective equipment (PPE), handling PPE breaches, assessing incapacitated EMS clinicians, managing biohazard spills, and disposing of HCID waste.

Moreover, the document offers advice on ambulance cleaning, disinfection, and modifications necessary to safeguard EMS personnel from exposure to potentially infectious body fluids.

A collaborative effort by EMS and biosafety experts

The development of these model procedural guidelines was a collaborative endeavor led by the NETEC EMS/Patient Transport Work Group.

This group consists of subject matter experts from the EMS Biosafety Transport Consortium, who also support the federally designated Regional Emerging Special Pathogen Treatment Centers.

These centers play a vital role in the transport and management of patients suspected or confirmed to have an HCID.

Enhancing EMS preparedness and safety

The release of these guidelines marks a significant step forward in ensuring that EMS agencies are better equipped to manage the challenges posed by high-consequence infectious diseases.

By following these standardized procedures, EMS personnel can significantly mitigate the risk of exposure to infectious agents, ensuring both their safety and the safety of their patients.

Read Next

Subscribe Now