Sep 26, 2007 (CIDRAP News) – An Institute of Medicine (IOM) committee that studied issues concerning personal protective equipment (PPE) for healthcare workers in an influenza pandemic is calling for renewed efforts to learn how influenza viruses spread, promote proper use of PPE, and improve the equipment itself.The 12-member panel met in Washington, DC, in February and May to hear comments from stakeholders such as medical experts, manufacturers, and government agencies on masks, gowns, respirators, and related items. The group’s mission was to recommend research directions, government agency roles, and policy changes, but not to issue guidelines about PPE use during a pandemic.The group’s 192-page peer-reviewed report was released Sep 18. It says the study was requested by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).More than 13 million US workers are employed in healthcare, according to the report, and public health officials worry that in a pandemic, medical staff won’t report to work if they don’t feel they’re adequately protected.Divided into three main parts, the report explores what is known and where research gaps exist concerning influenza transmission, use of PPE among healthcare workers, and PPE design, testing, and certification.Flu transmission studies badly neededMost studies on influenza transmission were conducted before 1970, and the report says more research should be done to build on earlier findings and apply new technologies, which include airborne-particle size analyzers and polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assays. Advances in fields such as aerobiology and mathematical modeling could also contribute to the study of seasonal and avian influenza, the group reported.The group recommends that the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), in collaboration with other US and global partners, lead a focused research effort to better understand the transmission and prevention of seasonal and avian influenza. The global research network would:Identify and rank research questions, as well as suggest potential study designsPrioritize funding for short-term (1 to 3 years) laboratory and clinical studies on seasonal influenza transmission and prevention, focusing on the efficacy of different PPE itemsDevelop evidence-based research protocols and implementation plans for clinical studies during an influenza pandemicStrategies to promote routine PPE useIn analyzing PPE utilization by healthcare workers, the group noted that despite recommendations and high-risk settings, many employees don’t wear the gear when they should. Healthcare institutions should do more to promote a “culture of safety” regarding PPE use by their employees, the report says.”Employees should feel uncomfortable when not wearing PPE during appropriate situations, and supervisors should reinforce the importance of PPE and enforce policies so that noncompliance is the rare exception and not the rule,” the authors state.Recommendations for boosting PPE use in healthcare workers include:Emphasizing appropriate PPE use in patient care settings as well as in healthcare management, accreditation, and trainingIdentifying and sharing best practices for improving PPE compliance; the authors recommend that the CDC and Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) support and evaluate demonstration projects on improving PPE adherenceResearching the human factors and behavioral issues related to PPE use, an effort that could be supported by agencies such as NIOSH, the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and AHRQRaising the bar for PPE design and testingSeveral of the group’s recommendations focus on improving PPE design, testing, and certification. More rigorous premarket testing is needed to ensure that PPE products work well in clinical settings, the authors assert. Evidence-based standards and comparison ratings should be developed for PPE items, they said.In a letter prefacing the report, Lewis Goldfrank, MD, chair of the committee and chair of emergency medicine at New York University School of Medicine, wrote that the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA’s) standards for evaluating and approving PPE are not as high as for the drugs or vaccines it regulates.”It is our belief that healthcare workers will feel secure only when the PPE that they are asked to wear is as safe and as effective as the vaccines and medications they are asked to take,” he wrote.Several federal agencies have important roles in supporting effective use of PPE, and more coordinated efforts are needed to harmonize requirements and expedite all the development and implementation steps, the IOM committee says. “NIOSH, though the NPPTL [National Personal Protective Technology Laboratory], is well suited to ensuring this integrated approach,” they note.Though the committee wasn’t asked to consider PPE for family members and others who will provide home care or want to protect themselves during a pandemic, the report points out some difficulties in that area. For example, new respirator designs that minimize or remove the need for fit testing would be beneficial, and PPE sold in retail stores is subject to limited regulation.The committee asserts that addressing its recommendations in the next 6 to 12 months would significantly improve the nation’s pandemic readiness.See also:Sep 18 IOM statementIOM report on PPE for healthcare workershttp://www.nap.edu/catalog.php?record_id=11980Mar 1 CIDRAP News story “IOM studying protective garb for health workers”
For more information on the property, go HERE.Go back to the enewsletter Go back to the enewsletterLuxury safari specialist Sanctuary Retreats has raised the bar in Zambia with the unveiling of its refurbished Sanctuary Sussi & Chuma property at Victoria Falls.The extensive facelift to the lodge is the latest to be revealed as part of a multi-million-dollar investment program currently rolling out across the Sanctuary portfolio, and firmly positions the boutique riverside retreat among the most exclusive luxury accommodation in Zambia.Set on a bend of the Zambezi River in the Mosi-Oa-Tunya National Park, just twelve kilometres from Victoria Falls, the lodge is named after Dr David Livingstone’s faithful friends, Sussi and Chuma. In keeping with Sanctuary Retreats’ Luxury, Naturally ethos, the redesign ingeniously maximises its magical setting in one of the most beautiful parts of the Zambezi, strengthening the feeling of a connection with nature, whether inside or out.Explorers Lounge, Sanctuary Sussi & ChumaThe most detailed changes are evident in Sussi & Chuma’s communal areas, including the addition of a new Explorer Lounge and an expansive riverside outdoor bar. Overlooking the Zambezi, the bar offers incredible and unrivalled views over this magnificent river – especially spectacular at sunset. The extended outdoor decking area includes a remodelled boma fire pit, as well as a new dining area, while inside, the intimate and inviting Livingstone Bar is the perfect spot to sip on a cocktail.Sussi Treehouse at Sanctuary Sussi & ChumaThe lodge’s 12 luxurious Sussi treehouses, linked by elevated wooden walkways, have also been comprehensively remodelled, offering a sophisticated take on modern safari life. Each one has now been enriched with a very authentic Zambian character, evident in stylish interiors which feature local artworks, hand crafted rugs and easy chairs dressed in a map print evoking the intrepid trails of the Lodge’s erstwhile namesakes – Sussi and Chuma.Each one comes with all the five-star fixtures and fittings you would expect from one of the world’s leading boutique safari operators, with indulgent touches including freestanding baths, a fully stocked minibar and gym boxes for in-room workouts. Adding to the feeling of exclusivity, the riverfront terrace of each treehouse has also been redesigned to deliver guests with even greater privacy and shade.The elevated walkway between Tree HousesSanctuary Sussi & Chuma also offers two private houses, each with two bedrooms, its own dining area and deck with plunge pools, as well as a private chef and dedicated staff – perfect for families, multigenerational travellers, or those seeking the ultimate exclusive safari getaway.Prices at Sanctuary Sussi & Chuma start from USD$585 per person per night, twin share, including all meals and drinks (excluding premium brands) and transfers to and from Livingstone Airport. There’s also a choice of two daily shared game viewing activities including tours of Victoria Falls on the Zambian side, game drives in the National Park, a sundowner cruise, local school and village tours, walking safaris, fishing and canoeing excursions.And for even better savings, take advantage of Sanctuary Retreats’ extended stay offer 2018, when guests stay at one or more of Sanctuary’s properties including, Sanctuary Sussi & Chuma, depending on the season of travel.Stay 4 – 6 nights and save up to 30% or stay 7+ nights and save up to 40%. Terms and conditions apply.