EMS Disease Exposure, Transmission, and Prevention: a Review Article
- 3 Downloads
Purpose of Review
This article aims to review recent literature regarding the risks of disease exposure to pre-hospital providers and the patients they serve, as well as the challenges they face in minimizing transmission and exposure.
Many studies continue to show poor compliance with consistent universal precautions, as well as proper hand hygiene. Vaccination rates are suboptimal despite attempts to encourage compliance. With the spread of multi-drug resistant organisms, new techniques of decontamination need to be investigated.
There remains a general lack of information and studies regarding the risks of disease exposure and transmission to EMS providers despite the significance hazards their profession can pose. However, there remains a continued theme throughout the majority of EMS and pre-hospital studies, demonstrating that hand washing and consistent use of personal protective equipment remains a persistent, preventable means of disease exposure and transmission.
KeywordsEmergency medical services Exposure Transmission PPE Contamination Decontamination Infectious disease
The authors would like to thank Dr. Thomas Collins for reviewing their article.
Compliance with Ethical Standards
Conflict of Interest
Colton Bitely, Brian Miller, and Jonathan Glauser declare no conflict of interest.
Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent
This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.
Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance •• Of major importance
- 6.• Moser A, Mabire C, Hugli O, Dorribo V, Zanetti G, Lazor-Blanchet C, et al. Vaccination against seasonal or pandemic influenza in emergency medical services. Prehosp Disaster Med. 2016;31(2):155–62 This study reveals hesitations to vaccinations with some insights to limitations in trying to enforce compliance. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- 17.• Barr N, Holmes M, Roiko A, Dunn P, Lord B. Challenges for environmental hygiene practices in Australian paramedic-led health care: a brief report. Am J Infect Control. 2018;46(6):723–5 Showed that despite very frequently working in contaminated conditions, many EMS workers are still under-educated and unprepared on the procedures and methods for decontamination. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- 19.Le A, Buehler S, Maniscalco P, Lane P, Rupp L, Ernest E, et al. Determining training and education needs pertaining to highly infectious disease preparedness and response: a gap analysis survey of US emergency medical services practitioners. Am J Infect Control. 2018;46(3):246–52.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- 22.Knowledge and adherence to guidelines on the infection control of tuberculosis: survey among health care personnel in South Korean general hospitals. Am J Infect Control. 2008;36(5):E142–3.Google Scholar