Parental presence at the bedside of a child with suspected Ebola: an expert discussion
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This clinical report offers guidance to health care providers and hospitals on options to consider regarding parental presence at the bedside while caring for a child with suspected or proven Ebola virus disease (Ebola) or other highly consequential infection. Options are presented to help meet the needs of the patient and the family while also posing the least risk to providers and health care organizations. The optimal way to minimize risk is to limit contact between the person under investigation or treatment and family members/caregivers whenever possible while working to meet the emotional support needs of both patient and family. At times, caregiver presence may be deemed to be in the best interest of the patient, and in such situations, a strong effort should be made to limit potential risks of exposure to the caregiver, health care providers, and the community. The decision to allow parental/caregiver presence should be made in consultation with a team including an infectious diseases expert and state and/or local public health authorities and should involve consideration of many factors, depending on the stage of investigation and management, including (1) a careful history, physical examination, and investigations to elucidate the likelihood of the diagnosis of Ebola or other highly consequential infection; (2) ability of the facility to offer appropriate isolation for the person under investigation and family members and to manage Ebola; (3) ability to recognize and exclude people at increased risk of worse outcomes (eg, pregnant women); and (4) ability of parent/caregiver to follow instructions, including appropriate donning and doffing of personal protective equipment.
Copyright © 2016 by the American Academy of Pediatrics.