Thursday, April 14, 2005

CDC Withdraws Guidance Document

The Centers For Disease Control has withdrawn a guidance document for protecting health care workers in the event of a bioweapons attack after receiving letter from a group of unions criticizing the document for recommending that health care workers wear surgical masks to protect themselves. The unions pointed out that there is no evidence that surgical masks -- as opposed to air-filtering respirators -- offer any protection.

CDC announced that it was withdrawing the guidance “additional review and discussion."

The guidance document also came in for criticism because it stated that in the event of an acutal biological warfare attack, some OSHA respirator requirements, such as fit testing and medical clearance may have to be suspended.

I just hope the CDC doesn't get rid of the obviously absurd surgical mask recommendation, but leave in place the suspension of the OSHA respirator requirements. Our health care workers deserve better.