Emergency management and infection control in a radiology department during an outbreak of severe acute respiratory syndrome

Y C Lin; S L Dong; Y H Yeh; Y S Wu; G Y Lan; C M Liu; T C Chu
July 2005
British Journal of Radiology;Jul2005, Vol. 78 Issue 931, p606
Academic Journal
The World Health Organization classified Taiwan as a serious epidemic-stricken area when the extent of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) in Taiwan became clear. As of 11 July 2003, 671 probable SARS cases had been identified in Taiwan and 7 healthcare workers had died from the disease. Radiographers were easily infected by SARS because they had close contact with suspected or probable cases while conducting chest X-ray examinations. Three radiographers had been infected by the end of May 2003. Because of the impact of SARS on the Radiology Department, the department established a SARS emergency infection control team and re-designed the department's infection-control and emergency-management procedures based on the concept of risk-grade protection. This effort included installing a radiographic room at the fever-screening station, re-allocating human resources in the Radiology Department, training the department staff in infection control, and drafting new operational procedures for radiographers conducting X-ray examinations on SARS patients. The goal of this program was to reduce the infection rate and distribute materials efficiently in the department. This article introduces the emergency-management procedure of the Radiology Department during the SARS outbreak and the infection-protection experience of the department staff.


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