Hospitals in the US and Canada are ill-prepared for the threat of emerging infectious diseases, especially in the area of protecting healthcare workers, nurses, doctors, and first responders from transmissions. Current protocols from guideline agencies and health organizations and health departments that include state pandemic flu plans do not follow scientific evidence in many of their recommendations. Economics and 'ease of use' are trumping good science in the decision making process. For example, protocols do not demand the most stringent precautions that would protect for healthcare workers from unknown factors of transmission in the case of rapidly emerging diseases. Respiratory protection, negative pressure isolation rooms, training of healthcare workers, personal protective equipment, ventilation designs, triage of surge patients, funding issues are all areas of concern that remain controversial in current occupational health protection models.
"Emerging Infectious Diseases and the Threat to Occupational Health in the US and Canada" offers a critical review of existing plans and infrastructures for emerging diseases and the response capabilities of healthcare delivery systems to protect the occupational health and offers many solutions. The authors perform failure analysis that cannot be found in other texts, and offer positive solutions, strategies, and tactics for strengthening the hospital and the public health response to potentially catastrophic health crises. This book contains invaluable information for managers, professionals, and policy makers in infectious disease organizations, public health organizations, as well as occupational health organizations.
TWO REPORTS FROM THE FRONT LINE: TWO NURSES UNION OFFICIALS REPORT ON SAFETY ISSUES DURING THE SARS CRISIS IN CANADA Presentation to the Commission to Investigate the Introduction and Spread of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS); E. Bujna and L. McCaskell Presentation to the Commission to Investigate the Introduction and Spread of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS); B. Wahl PERSONAL PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT Respirators and Other Personal Protective Equipment for Health Care Workers; J.H. Lange and G. Mastrangelo Airborne Pathogens: Selection of Respiratory Protection; M. Nicas THE MULTIFACETED SYSTEMS INVOLVED IN PROTECTING AGAINST OCCUPATIONALLY ACQUIRED RESPIRATORY INFECTIOUS DISEASES: PUBLIC HEALTH AND OCCUPATIONAL SAFETY, A SHARED RESPONSIBILITY Knowledge Gaps and Research Priorities for Effective Protection against Occupationally Acquired Respiratory Infectious Diseases: A Canadian Perspective; A. Yassi and E. Bryce Ventilation Systems for Handling Infectious Diseases in a Healthcare Environment; S.J. Derman DETERIORATION OF THE PUBLIC HEALTH SYSTEM AND THE SQUANDERING OF LIMITED RESOURCES Infectious Diseases, A Resurgent Problem: Developing Effective Public Health Responses; G. Avery The Fallacy of Bioterrorism Programs: A Catastrophe for U.S. Public Health; H.W. Cohen, R. Gould, and V. Sidel INFLUENZA: THE OLD AND PRESENT THREAT A Killer Flu? Planning for the Devastating Effects of the Inevitable Pandemic; M.A. Hamburg, S.A. Hearne, J. Levi, K. Elliott, L.M. Segal and M.J. Earls Influenza: Biology, Transmission, Course, Complications, Prevention, and Treatment; H.W. Cohen and C.M. Coyle INFECTIOUS DISEASES AND THE BUREAUCRACIES THAT ARE ACCOUNTABLE FOR PUBLIC SAFETY Hospital Cleaners and Housekeepers: The Frontline Workers in Emerging Diseases; B. Stringer Establishing Cooperative Synergy: Which Agencies, Which Departments?; N. Maher A Rural Hospital's Preparedness for an Emerging Infectious Disease Epidemic; J. Harris Endnotes Epilogue APPENDICES American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations Interim Guidance for Protecting Health Care Workers Caring for Patients Potentially Exposed to Aerosolized Yersinia pestis from a Bioterrorism Event Index