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Oregon develops transport policy after drill shows gaps
Notify receiving facility, urge isolation precautions
In response to a drill that showed gaps in planning and communication regarding the transportation of potentially infectious agents, Oregon public health officials have adopted new policies, which were originally developed by public health officials in Lane County, OR. The policy is summarized as follows:
Purpose: To provide a transportation and communication procedure that will assure that lab specimens, collected by a health care provider or laboratory within Lane County, which have an urgent Public Health need for immediate transport to and processing at the Oregon State Public Health Laboratory (OSPHL), can be packaged and transported and the information communicated between the provider, sending lab, OSPHL, the Department of Human Services (DHS) Acute & Communicable Disease epidemiologist, and Lane County Public Health outside of normal working hours.
Situation: The Lane County Public Health on call supervisor receives a call stating that there is an immediate need to get a clinical lab specimen to the OSPHL for testing for a disease that has potential to trigger a public health emergency. An example of such a disease would be a specimen from a person who may have a virus capable of causing a highly pathogenic pandemic flu. The call may come in from the health care provider including hospital emergency rooms and clinics, a laboratory within Lane County, the DHS on call epidemiologist, or the OSPHL.
Procedure: When the LCPH on-call supervisor receives the call requesting OSPHL testing for a clinical specimen for a disease with potential to trigger a public health emergency the supervisor will: