SCOTT Safety Ebola FAQ's
WARNING: The recommendations contained herein are based solely on the information available to Scott Safety at the time of publication. You are encouraged, on a regular basis, to read and review all relevant guidance provided by the Center for Disease Control, the World Health Organization, and the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control.
For comprehensive information about Scott Safety and Ebola, please see Scott Safety’s official response on Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for Ebola Virus Disease (EVD).
What guidance does Scott provide for Ebola protection?
Based on current World Health Organization (WHO) and United States Centers for Disease Control (US CDC) guidance, at minimum, for respiratory protection, an N95 respirator that is NIOSH approved may be used for Ebola infection control. The use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) has been recommended by numerous agencies as part of a larger comprehensive infection control response when caring for persons with known or suspected Ebola. The situation is changing rapidly and therefore you should consult the most current information regarding Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) response from your local health authority.
For more details, please refer to Scott’s Official Response on PPE for Ebola.
Which Scott products provide protection against Ebola?
Please refer to this list of Scott Safety products that protect against the Ebola Virus Disease.
Who should wear PPE for protection against Ebola?
Guidance has been developed by the US CDC and WHO, considering the high rate of morbidity and mortality among infected patients, the lack of approved vaccine and therapeutics and the risk of human to human transmission. Ebola is believed to be spread by direct contact with an infected person’s blood or bodily fluids. Transmission may also occur from contaminated objects, surfaces, or infected animals. Transmission by air has not been documented, but there exists risk of transmission by inhalation of contaminated aerosols in areas of poor environmental control or during aerosol generating procedures (AGP).
With this in mind PPE for ALL healthcare personnel must be considered. This extends to all persons, paid and unpaid, working in a healthcare setting who have the potential for exposure to patients and/or infectious materials. Not only should physicians, nurses, etc. be evaluated for exposure risk but also those not directly involved in patient care, such as dietary, house-keeping and security, whom may be potentially exposed to infectious agents.
What are effective standard infection control precautions?
Is there anything else I should know about the use of PPE with Ebola?
While wearing PPE, the wearer should avoid touching or adjusting PPE, change gloves between patients, remove gloves if they become torn or damaged, and perform hand hygiene before putting on new gloves.
It is critical that proper procedures for the order of putting on and taking off PPE be followed. Both the WHO and US CDC have developed specific guidance. Manufacturer specific guidance should be followed where applicable for individual items to ensure that the device works as intended.
Re-usable PPE should be cleaned and disinfected according to manufacturer instructions and healthcare policies. The choice of disinfectant should be based on healthcare policies and compatibility of the disinfectant confirmed with the PPE manufacturer. Those whom collect and handle soiled re-usable PPE should be trained individuals using PPE themselves.
What do I look for when selecting respiratory protection?
For bioaerosols such as Ebola Virus, particulate respirators are recommended to reduce exposure. Per WHO and US CDC guidance, at minimum a FFP2 / N95 / P2 respirator as approved by local certification standards (EN149, NIOSH 42 CFR pt 84, AS1716) may be used. These are typically filtering facepiece respirators that are disposable after limited use, with extended use allowed in specific circumstances. Disposable respirators often have use limitations, such as no more than 8 hours or single shift only. Manufacturer’s instructions should be consulted when considering reuse of disposable respirators.
Reusable elastomeric half masks and full facemasks, along with a powered air purifying respirator (PAPR) with particulate filter, may also be used. Respirator classifications vary by local standard and clarification should be sought from the manufacturer to verify the classification of the chosen respirator aligns with the WHO and US CDC guidance. In Europe, per EN143, a P2 or P3 filter may be used. For European powered air purifying respirators (PAPR), per EN12941/2, headtop systems must hold particulate TH 2 or TH 3 ratings and facemask systems must hold particulate TM 2 or TM 3 ratings. In the US, per NIOSH, a filter of any of the nine following types listed may be used: N95/N99/N100, R95/R99/R100 and P95/P99/P100. US PAPR systems must be used with a HE particulate filter. In Australia and New Zealand, per AS1716, a P2 or P3 filter may be used.
Are respirators effective against Ebola?
The effectiveness of a respirator is dependent upon a properly executed respiratory protection plan in accordance with local standards. EN 529, US OSHA 29 CFR 1910.134, and AS1715 provide guidance for selection and use of respiratory equipment. Manufacturer’s instructions must also be followed to ensure proper functioning of the respirator. This is important as respirators reduce the exposure to airborne contaminants but do not prevent all exposure. The guidance, selection and use standards enumerate assigned protection factors for different types of respirators. This accounts for observed historical performance of respirators from past workplace protection factor studies on other contaminants and the minimum levels of accepted leakage from all sources: filter and facepiece. The filtration efficiency of the selected filter for a respirator only covers leakage due to the filter and does not indicate the overall leakage resulting from the equipment as maintained, fitted and worn. As such, no respirator will entirely eliminate the risk of exposure.
What are the recommended cleaning and disinfecting procedures for reusable PPE?
Please use manufacturer recommendations for cleaning. Cleaning instructions are provided in the instructions for use for each product. More details on cleaning and disinfecting Scott products can be found in the Scott Official Response to Ebola.
What type of respiratory protection should be worn when conducting PPE cleaning and disinfection?
Depending upon the application method and environment concentrations, some disinfectants such as chlorine may pose an additional inhalation hazard. In this case, the recommended PPE, including respiratory protection with filter appropriate for the disinfectant, should be used. For airborne concentrations of chlorine up to 10 ppm, when using a respirator with a minimum assigned protection factor of 10, a chemical cartridge classified as B type, per EN/AS standards, or CL per NIOSH standards may be used. PPE used during cleaning and disinfection should also be considered contaminated and included in the PPE cleaning, disinfection, and disposal cycle to minimize contamination.
Does Scott plan to issue any additional information about the Ebola Virus Disease outbreak?
Scott Safety is carefully monitoring the situation as it is rapidly evolving and will release additional information as we are made aware. For the most up-to-date information on the Ebola virus, we recommend you consult these authorities on a regular basis:
World Health Organization (WHO): www.who.int
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC): www.cdc.gov
European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (EDCD): www.ecdc.europa.eu
Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA): www.osha.gov