Ebola information for health professionalsOct272014

Current information for health professionals on Ebola virus disease (EVD) can be found on the BCCDC website, which includes a link to the Ebola Clinical Care Guidelines developed by the Canadian Association of Emergency Physicians, Association of Medical Microbiology and Infectious Disease Canada, Canadian Critical Care Society.

PICNet is currently working with a provincial committee on provincial recommendations for Personal Protective Equipment; until these recommendations are released, please follow your facility’s procedures for PPE.

To date, there have been no cases of EVD in Canada.


Mishap Mansion and Canadian Patient Safety WeekOct232014

What Patient Safety Mishaps Will You Spot in Mishap Mansion?

 BC’s health authorities and the BC Patient Safety and Quality Council (BCPSQC) are using Canadian Patient Safety Week (Oct 27-31) and Halloween as opportunities to talk about a scary subject: patient safety mishaps.

You’re invited to visit the Mishap Mansion. Once there, you can enter care rooms that are full of patient safety mishaps. Some are intentionally over-the-top (like giant, plastic rats). But some are mishaps that could really be seen in the rooms, despite our best efforts to create safe environments for our patients and ourselves.

 You can enter the contest – and be eligible for prizes – by telling BCPSQC about the mishaps that you spot! You can do so two ways: by sending a tweet (make sure to include your health authority’s Twitter handle and the #MishapMansion hashtag) or by sending an email. 

There are also resources available on the webpage in case you would like to learn more about patient safety.

Visit the Mishap Mansion on the BCPSQC website.



Enterovirus D68 UpdateOct202014

The BC Centre for Disease Control has has confirmed that a young man with a prior history of severe asthma has died with laboratory-confirmed enterovirus D68 (EV-D68) infection . It is uncertain whether EV-D68 caused or contributed to this death. This is the first known death associated with EV-D68 in Canada. You can read more on the BCCDC’s D68 web page

Advice for healthcare workers

Clinicians should consider EV-D68 infections in children presenting with severe respiratory illness and report any increase or unusual clusters/outbreaks of respiratory illness to their local health authority/Medical Health Officer. More severe respiratory presentations of EV-D68 may be anticipated in association with underlying comorbidity, notably a history of asthma. There is no specific treatment or vaccine for EV-D68. Clinical care is supportive.     

Healthcare providers should implement routine infection control practices, including droplet and contact precautions for patients with suspected EV-D68 infection. Surfaces should be cleaned with a hospital-grade disinfectant with a DIN and label claim for non-enveloped viruses.

Please note: EV-D68 is not an airborne infection, so standard droplet precautions, the  same as used for influenza, are sufficient to protect healthcare workers from the infection.


Ebola information from PHSAOct162014

If you work for another health authority, please refer to their procedures.

It has been six months since the outbreak of Ebola was declared in Western Africa. To date, there have been no confirmed cases of Ebola in Canada, and the risk to the Canadian general public is very low. Health care workers in Canada, however, could be required to care for a patient with Ebola if a traveller or medical volunteer returning from one of the affected countries presents with symptoms.

PHSA Workplace Health has prepared an Ebola FAQ document that provides a high level overview of Ebola, and what to do if you are exposed to Ebola in the workplace. All employees who care for an Ebola patient will be instructed on how to protect themselves and how to self-monitor for signs and symptoms of Ebola during and for 21 days after they last worked with the patient.

Please follow your agency’s Infection Control Practice manual for detailed instructions on safety and exposure prevention. If you are caring for a patient with suspected or confirmed Ebola, you must practice rigorous standard, contact, and droplet precautions. You will be required to wear gloves, an impermeable gown, face mask, and eye protection. Ebola is not transmitted through the air or through food and water. Step by step procedures for donning and doffing your personal protective equipment must be followed to prevent an exposure. If a breach in infection control practices occurs, you must immediately self-isolate and email PHSA Occupational Health at occupationalhealthnursing@phsa.ca who will put you in contact with the appropriate Medical Health Officer to receive active follow up for 21 days. 

Employees who have been travelling and/or volunteering in Western Africa will be required to report to your physician, who will report to the appropriate Medical Health Officer, and self-monitor for signs and symptoms of Ebola for 21 days.  If a known breach in infection control practices occurred during contact with an Ebola patient while abroad, the employee must not return to work. You must self-isolate immediately upon arrival from Western Africa, call your health care provider and email PHSA Occupational Health at occupationalhealthnursing@phsa.ca, who will then liaise with a Medical Health Officer. If there has not been a breach in infection control practices, you may return to work.

Please take a moment to read through PHSA Ebola FAQ document and consult the following web sites for up to date expert advice on Ebola for Health Care Workers for more details: