Use caution with aerosol procedures

The following recommendations are summarized from the "Prevention Strategies for Seasonal Influenza in Healthcare Settings" by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The full document is available at: www.cdc.gov/flu/professionals/infectioncontrol/healthcaresettings.htm.

Precautions for aerosol-generating procedures include:

• Only performing these procedures on patients with suspected or confirmed influenza if they are medically necessary and cannot be postponed.

• Limiting the number of health care personnel (HCP) present during the procedure to only those essential for patient care and support. As is the case for all HCP, ensure that HCP whose duties require them to perform or be present during these procedures are offered influenza vaccination.

• Conducting the procedures in an airborne infection isolation room (AIIR) when feasible.

• Considering use of portable HEPA filtration units to further reduce the concentration of contaminants in the air.

• HCP should adhere to standard precautions, including wearing gloves, a gown, and either a face shield that fully covers the front and sides of the face or goggles.

• HCP should wear respiratory protection equivalent to a fitted N95 filtering facepiece respirator or equivalent N95 respirator (e.g., powered air purifying respirator, elastomeric) during aerosol-generating procedures. When respiratory protection is required in an occupational setting, respirators must be used in the context of a comprehensive respiratory protection program that includes fit-testing and training as required under OSHA's Respiratory Protection standard.

• Unprotected HCP should not be allowed in a room where an aerosol-generating procedure has been conducted until sufficient time has elapsed to remove potentially infectious particles.

• Conduct environmental surface cleaning following procedures.