October 5, 2010

Change in Compliance Requirements

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recently published their updated guidance document for influenza infection control including 2009 H1N1 influenza. The document, “Prevention Strategies for Seasonal Influenza in Healthcare Settings”, supersedes previous infection control guidelines published by the CDC.

The new guidance recommends standard and droplet precautions with surgical facemasks for routine patient care of influenza. Airborne precautions and respirator protection with N-95 respirators are only recommended for aerosol generating procedures.

Occupational Health has updated the OHIS compliance tracking system to reflect this change. The only employees (faculty, housestaff, and staff) who must complete annual N-95 respirator fit testing are individuals with ongoing exposure to the usual endemic airborne pathogens such as TB, varicella, etc. The list of Target Groups that must be fit-tested annually is provided at the following web site: http://www.safety.vanderbilt.edu/pdf/n95_fit_test_groups.pdf  

N-95 Respirator Fit Testing is available for individuals according to the schedule provided at the Vanderbilt Environmental Health and Safety website.