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Volume 14, Number 6—June 2008

Managing Potential Laboratory Exposure to Ebola Virus by Using a Patient Biocontainment Care Unit1

Mark G. Kortepeter*Comments to Author , James W. Martin*, Janice M. Rusnak*, Theodore J. Cieslak†, Kelly L. Warfield*, Edwin L. Anderson*, and Manmohan V. Ranadive*
Author affiliations: *US Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases, Fort Detrick, Maryland, USA; †San Antonio Military Pediatric Center, San Antonio, Texas, USA;

Main Article

Table 2

Consultants to consider for establishing a team to manage a potential laboratory exposure

Consultant no. Title and description
1 Designated primary physician
2 Scientific expert: This person knows the latest medical/scientific literature on the organism.
3 Director of safety: This person will assess the mechanism of injury and how to avoid a repeated occurrence.
4 Research institute or laboratory director’s representative: This person may serve as the liaison to external political, media, or scientific agencies and will need to be aware of the progress of the patient or any investigation to convey accurate information externally and internally.
5 Patient’s supervisor or department chief: This person will need to reassess the specific laboratory methods used (in conjunction with safety) and modify procedures as needed.
6 Representative from regulatory affairs: This person may serve as a liaison to regulatory agencies such as the Food and Drug Administration, especially if establishing an emergency investigational new drug protocol is contemplated.
7 Public affairs representative: This person needs accurate information to hold press briefings or to generate press releases.
8 Occupational health representative: This person should work in conjunction with safety experts to analyze the mechanism of exposure and ways to prevent a recurrence.
9 Scribe: This person will keep track of the key contacts and decisions, as well as the different courses of action considered.
10 Patient: In many cases, the patient may be the most well-informed person on the specific pathogen. His or her level of expertise and interest will determine whether to include the patient in group discussions. If the patient is already in isolation, a family representative may be considered to participate in group discussions with the patient’s approval. Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act* privacy regulations still apply.

*Public Law 104-191 Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996, August 21, 1996 [cited 2007 Aug 27]. Available from

Main Article

1This article is derived from the lecture “10 Steps in Managing an Ebola Exposure,” presented at the Interscience Conference on Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy, December 15, 2005, Washington, DC, USA, and September 26, 2006, San Francisco, CA, USA.

Page created: July 09, 2010
Page updated: July 09, 2010
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