Selection and Use of Personal Protective Equipment

This is an exciting Course by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

In  cooperation with the Eagleson Institute  lasting two days. Feb 29th there will be two pre- congress workshops dealing with various subjects. Two are of special interest. One deals with Selection and Use of Personal Protective Equipment entitled: Large or Small the Challenges are the same: 5 Key Areas Where Biosafety Programs Break Down

According to a recent analysis, institutions of all sizes and types wrestle with the same challenges when it comes to ensuring an effective biosafety program.  This is illustrated in the results of an analysis of biosafety programs for multiple institutions varying in size and type (research and development, commercial, clinical and manufacturing) that encompass over 400 individual laboratories.

The five problem areas uncovered by the analysis are:

  • Lack of clear, consistent communication with scientific staff and between departments;
  • missing processes in training program to re-enforce training and to ensure competency;
  • poor information management (e.g., training records) that creates vulnerabilities especially in the event of an audit;
  • no Institutional Biosafety Committee (IBC) or formal risk assessment process;
  • and infrastructure that does not have adequate engineering controls or proper maintenance programs and where EH&S and biosafety staff are excluded from the design process.

Using interactive case studies, this session will provide insights and strategies to correct these problems that can be implemented by any size Institution. It will also provide instruction on how to get the most out of a self-audit. Many biosafety program managers and directors struggle with limited resources, so it is imperative to recognise where to put those resources and how to best use them.

The Risk Assessment in Animal Care will be discussed by Jason Villano, Assistant Professor, Johns Hopkins University. The use of animals in research is associated with the innate risk of accidental exposure of personnel to various hazards.  Animals produce allergens from body secretions and products like urine. Chemicals like chlorine-based solutions are commonly used for environmental sanitation and disinfection. Others like bromodeoxyuridine and radioactive substances, such as bio-imaging tracers, are used for animal experimentation. Biohazards include zoonotic agents, infectious organisms used to model human disease, and more commonly, the use of recombinant and synthetic nucleic acid molecules and cells, organisms, and viruses containing such molecules.  The first step to mitigate risk is to conduct a risk assessment, which involves identification of the risks for specific personnel in a given situation and environment. This half-day Course will offer the participants the necessary tools to assess risks in animal research. Group and class exercises will include real-life scenarios in the laboratory animal setting. Participants will be asked to examine situations, with special focus on the various considerations pertaining to the involved hazards, animal species, personnel, procedures, and environment.

Henry Wu, MD, Director, Emory Travel Well Centre will talk on the topic of Travel Medicine and Working Overseas addressing four sessions:  General travel medicine, vaccines, working overseas, and case studies.  Key preventative and safety topics for international travel, including risk assessment and the nuts and bolts of the pre-travel consultation visit will be addressed . Details concerning travel immunizations and prophylaxis will be explored, including hepatitis, yellow fever, rabies, Japanese encephalitis, HIV, cholera, malaria prevention, and more. Attention will be devoted on preparing travellers with distinctive risks including long-term expatriates and those conducting research and/or providing healthcare services abroad. Distinctive situations, such as pregnancy, animal bites, and emergency evacuations will be discussed. The course will conclude with case studies from the instructor’s experiences as a travel physician and expatriate.