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April 8, 2020

ACEP Statements on PPE & Other Physician Protections

COVID-19: Position Statement on the Use of Donated or Self-Purchased PPE

Approved March 25, 2020 - ACEP Policy Statement | PDF

Global penetrance of COVID-19 has placed significant stress on the ability to produce and supply appropriate PPE to health care workers. Additionally, the risk pool of known and unknown disease in our communities has greatly challenged our ability to reliably determine patients who are at low risk. For these reasons, ACEP has and will continue to support the use of surgical masks with proper eyewear and other protective equipment for all physicians and other individuals caring for patients, regardless of  patient complaint. Processes and procedures that create higher risk, such as close contact and aerosolizing procedures, require full PPE, including N95s. 

Because the inadequate PPE supply increases the risk to our physicians, they have taken to buying their own PPE or utilizing donations from other industries. ACEP urges hospitals and other health care facilities to allow physicians to use their donated or self-purchased PPE.

Get Connected with Corporate and Private Suppliers of PPE with GetUsPPE.org

ACEP’s Position on Family Visitation During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Issued March 25, 2020 - Download the official family visitation letter for use in legal proceedings.

Emergency physicians, along with emergency nurse practitioners, physician assistants, nurses and others, are the front line in this pandemic. But they are also human beings, who need and deserve the comfort of their families when they are off duty.

Emergency physicians are trained in proper precautions to significantly reduce the risk to themselves, as well as their families. ACEP requests that the pandemic and the work that our colleagues are doing should not be a factor in custody or visitation disputes.

 

COVID-19: Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) During the Pandemic

Approved March 20, 2020ACEP Policy Statement | PDF

Our emergency care team is the front line in this crisis at a time when identifying those who may have COVID-19 is very challenging. Given the guidance from the CDC that droplet precautions recommend use of a face mask or surgical mask, ACEP believes that healthcare personnel in the emergency department (ED) and emergency medical services  (EMS) should consider wearing a face mask or surgical mask during their entire shift if they are providing patient care, unless the mask becomes soiled and needs replacement.

In order to preserve PPE, until the current shortages are reduced, healthcare personnel in the ED and EMS should consider wearing the same mask for the entire shift. We also understand that close contact during procedures or processes (including a physical examination) that generate potentially infectious aerosols requires a higher level of PPE that includes an N95 respirator.

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