Ebola Hazmat Suit Training: Watch Health Workers Go Through The Intricate Process Of Taking Off An Ebola Hazmat Suit

Hazmat Suit Removal
Health care experts go through the steps for taking off an Ebola hazmat suit. YouTube

For health care workers treating patients infected with the Ebola virus, hazmat suits can be their first and last line of defense against transmission. However, even after leaving a quarantined area, how do these medical professionals make sure they are not exposed to virus particles on the outside of their protective gear? A video released by the Healthcare and Emergency Responder Organization Education through Simulation shows the intricate process involved in taking off an Ebola hazmat suit.

After Amber Vinson and Nina Pham, two nurses who helped treat America’s first Ebola patient at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital, contracted the disease, rumors began to surface that they contracted the disease while taking off their hazmat suits. Although Ebola is not an airborne disease, it can be spread by direct contact via the blood, bodily fluid, or medical tools that have come in contact with a person infected with the virus.

In the video, medical experts at the Nebraska Biocontainment Unit at the Nebraska Medical Center walk us through the proper steps for taking off Biological Level C Person Protective Equipment. Frist, bleach wipes are used to clean soiled areas of the suit while inside the patient’s room. After soiled areas are wiped down, the wipes, foot covers, and patient care gloves are placed in a biohazard bag. When exiting the patient’s room, the doctor or nurse steps directly into a tub lined with another biohazard bag.

Next, a “doffing partner” helps remove tape from arm cuffs before cleaning all non-disposable items (PAPR battery pack, tubing, and belt) with bleach wipes. The partner then pulls the outer layer of the hood up and unzips the suit to start rolling it down into the biohazard bag. Once the suit and all other articles of clothing that were potentially contaminated have been removed into the biohazard bag and discarded, the subject is required to use hand sanitizer, wash hands, rehydrate, and take a shower. 

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