Introduction: Effective models simulating the spread of contagion from provider to other patients, visitors, and rooms in a physically simulated emergency department setting have not been reported, and the effect of personal protective equipment (PPE) on reducing such spread in a simulated emergency department environment has not been quantified. Methods: We developed a physical model for the spread of an Ebola-like virus. The scenario involved 3 computerized mannequins. One case was a febrile patient after Ebola exposure. Four residents (group A) had only masks and gloves and were initially unaware of exposure history, whereas 4 residents (group C) had known exposure history and had full PPE present in the room. Infected mannequins and surrounding surfaces were coated with Glo Germ, a UV tracer. Fluorescence to UV light was recorded after each scenario. Both tracer groups were compared with a control group (group B) in which no tracer was used to account for background fluorescence. Results: There was transfer of contagion to providers, other patients, nurse and family member confederates, and other treatment rooms. Half of group C used full PPE, and half used partial PPE. There were 3 contaminations in group C with full PPE use, 15 contaminations in group C with partial PPE, and 65 contaminations in group A. Conclusions: The UV tracer seems to be a useful analog of contaminated bodily fluids because it spread easily and its spread decreased with the use of barrier methods. This model could be used in future studies to measure the effectiveness of different forms of PPE and to study the effectiveness of provider education on appropriately donning and doffing PPE.
- Healthcare-acquired infections
- Healthcare-associated infections
- Infectious diseases
- Personal protective equipment
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Medicine (miscellaneous)
- Modeling and Simulation