Swine flu: first responder precautions

The U. S. Fire Administration has issued “Infogram 17-09” that lists some precautions for first responders who may come into contact with victims of swine flu (H1N1):

  • Review state and local pandemic plans and apply applicable provisions.
  • Implement acute febrile respiratory infection screening for all callers or patients with nasal congestion, cough, fever, or other flu-like symptoms.
  • Request additional information from the dispatcher when sent to respiratory, sick person, and fever-related calls, but given only limited initial information.
  • Perform initial interview of all patients from more than 6 feet away to determine if personal protective equipment precautions are necessary.
  • Place a standard surgical mask on all patients with suspected influenza symptoms before approach.
  • Maintain strict adherence to hand hygiene by washing with soap and water or alcohol-based hand disinfectant immediately after removing gloves following any contact with patients.
  • See more detailed recommendations at the Interim Guidance for Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Systems and 9-1-1 Public Safety Answering Points (PSAPs) for Management of Patients with Confirmed or Suspected Swine-Origin Influenza (H1N1) Infection.

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