Are your ED staff up to date on SARS information?

ED staff at William Beaumont Hospital are asked the following questions to assess their knowledge about severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS):

  1. Do you know what SARS stands for?
  2. Have you read the information that we have made available to you?
  3. What is the size of the N-95 mask you need to wear?
  4. What symptoms would you see to consider SARS?
  5. What countries are of concern for recent travel?
  6. What process do you follow for airborne isolation?

Answer key:

  1. Severe acute respiratory syndrome.
  2. Employees should state what information they have reviewed, such as bulletin boards, electronic info, handouts, postings at triage, pamphlets in the waiting room, or information in the clinical area at the desk.
  3. Employees should be able to remember that they were fit tested and if they require a small or medium mask, or if they need special accommodations because they failed fit testing (often because of facial hair).
  4. Cough (shortness of breath and/or difficulty breathing) with a fever over 100.4 and . . . (see question #5).
  5. Recent travel (within 10 days of onset of symptoms) to any of the following locations: China, Hong Kong, Vietnam, Singapore.
  6. Place patient in an isolation room as soon as possible. Patient should be given a mask to wear when the symptoms or history at triage indicate possible SARS or other airborne communicable disease. Staff must use a mask and goggles if contact with blood or body fluids, including respiratory secretions, is anticipated.

Source: William Beaumont Hospital, Troy, MI.

For information on an upcoming SARS audio conference, click here.