Infection Control Guidance for EMS, First Responders, Fire, and Law Enforcement: Influenza - Minnesota Dept. of Health

Infection Control Guidance for EMS, First Responders, Fire, and Law Enforcement: Influenza

If signs or symptoms of acute febrile respiratory illness are not present, proceed with normal EMS care.

Standard PLUS Droplet Precautions should be used in the care of patients with acute febrile respiratory illness.

On this page:
Isolation precautions
Aerosol-generating procedures
for Patients

Isolation precautions

Droplet and Standard Precautions are recommended for all suspected or confirmed influenza patients.

Droplet Precautions include:

  • Standard precautions (hand hygiene plus gloves, gown, face shield/eye protection as indicated by patient care activities and risk of exposure to blood/body fluids)   


  • Surgical mask

Aerosol-generating procedures:

  • Aerosol-generating procedures should be avoided during transport, unless medically essential. When medically essential, all EMS personnel engaged in aerosol generating activities (e.g. endotracheal intubation, and resuscitation involving emergency intubation or cardiac pulmonary resuscitation) should follow Airborne Precautions: fit-tested disposable N95 respirator OR powered air purifying respirator [PAPR], disposable non-sterile gloves, eye protection (e.g., goggles; eye shields), and gown and Standard Precautions.
  • Consult with local ambulance service medical direction regarding modifications or changes to treatment protocol/guidelines that may be required. 

Infection Control Precautions for Patients

  • Place a surgical mask on the patient.
    • If this is not possible, have the patient cover mouth/nose with tissue when coughing or use another practical method to contain cough
      Note: Small facemasks are available that can be worn by children, but it may be problematic for children to wear them correctly and consistently. Moreover, no facemasks (or respirators) have been cleared by the FDA specifically for use by children.


  • Adequate ventilation is important. If you must transport the patient with acute febrile respiratory illness, keep the windows of your vehicle open (if feasible) and set the heating and air-conditioning systems on a non-recirculating cycle.
  • Notify the receiving healthcare facility so that appropriate infection control precautions may be taken prior to patient arrival.

Updated Monday, December 30, 2013 at 07:38AM