The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry have developed guidance to protect the public's health, health providers, emergency responders and clean-up workers during response and recovery efforts from recent hurricanes in the Southeast United States, Puerto Rico and the Caribbean.
The guidance compiles several important resources, such as how to deal with chemical hazards, strategies to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning, and recommendations for cleaning and remediation of hospital infrastructure.
The Association for Linen Management is providing disaster recovery guidance for textiles to ensure that acilities with laundry operations, including hospitals and nursing homes, receive proper direction on how to maintain linen quality in the aftermath of a natural disaster. The guidance covers the circumstances under which linens should be reprocessed or discarded, and steps to be taken prior to restarting laundry operations.
Researchers examined data from the U.S. Nurses’ Health Study and found that regular use of disinfectants by nurses is linked to a higher risk of developing chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
Orianne Dumas, Ph.D., and her colleagues from the French National Institute of Health and Medical Research analyzed data from 55,18'5 female registered nurses enrolled in the U.S. Nurses’ Health Study II. The Nurses' Health Study, now in their third generation, began in 1976 as a regular follow-up of study by researches who conducted repeated assessments of participants' health and lifestyle factors.
In their analysis, Dumas and colleagues looked at nurses who were still in a nursing job and had no history of COPD in 2009, and then followed them for approximately eight years until May 2017. The researchers “found that nurses who use disinfectants to clean surfaces on a regular basis — at least once a week — had 22 percent increased risk of developing COPD,” Dumas says.
Dumas emphasizes that, because this is an observational study, the findings cannot show that disinfectants cause COPD, only that there is an association between some disinfectants and the development of the disease.
Results of the study were presented Monday at the European Respiratory Society International Congress.
The Joint Commission posted on its website that it is temporarily suspending all survey activity in Florida, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands as the areas grapple with the aftermath of Hurricane Irma.
The Joint Commission says that health care-accredited organizations in these areas should contact their individual Joint Commission account executives with questions or concerns.