TITLE 16

Health and Safety

Regulatory Provisions Concerning Public Health

CHAPTER 12A. NOTIFICATION OF EMERGENCY MEDICAL PROVIDERS OF PERSONS WITH COMMUNICABLE DISEASES


As used in this chapter:

(1) "Communicable disease'' means human immunodeficiency virus, (HIV, the virus that causes AIDS), and hepatitis B.

(2) "Division'' means Division of Public Health, Department of Health and Social Services.

(3) "Emergency medical care provider'' means a fire fighter, law enforcement officer, paramedic, emergency medical technician, correctional officer, ambulance attendant or other person who serves as an employee or volunteer of an ambulance service and/or provides pre-hospital emergency medical services.

(4) "Receiving medical facility'' means a hospital or similar facility that receives a patient attended by an emergency medical care provider for the purposes of continued medical care.

(5) "Universal precautions'' means those precautions, including the appropriate use of hand washing, protective barriers, and care in the use and disposal of needles and other sharp instruments that minimize the risk of transmission of communicable diseases between patients and health care providers.

68 Del. Laws, c. 415, § 1; 69 Del. Laws, c. 108, §§ 1, 2.;

(a) An emergency medical care provider may request notification concerning exposure to a communicable disease under this section if the exposure is of a manner known to transmit a communicable disease.

(b) Each employer of an emergency medical care provider, and every organization which supervises volunteer emergency medical care providers, shall designate an officer who shall receive requests for notification from emergency medical care providers; collect facts relating to the circumstances under which the emergency medical provider may have been exposed to a communicable disease; distribute the forms as specified by subsection (c) of this section to receiving medical facilities; report to the emergency medical care provider findings provided by the receiving medical facility; and assist the emergency care provider to take medically appropriate action when necessary. The designated officer shall delegate these duties as may be necessary to ensure compliance with this chapter.

(c) If an emergency medical care provider desires to be notified under this chapter, the officer designated pursuant to subsection (b) of this section shall notify the receiving medical facility within 24 hours after the patient is admitted to or treated by the facility, utilizing a form that is prescribed or approved by the Division of Public Health.

68 Del. Laws, c. 415, § 1; 69 Del. Laws, c. 108, § 3; 70 Del. Laws, c. 147, § 7; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1.;

(a) Each receiving medical facility shall designate an officer or individual who shall receive completed forms as specified by § 1202A(c) of this title, and who shall insure compliance with the requirements of this section.

(b) If, within 30 days after a patient is admitted or treated, a receiving medical care facility determines whether or not the emergency medical care provider has been exposed to a communicable disease, the receiving medical facility shall so notify the officer designated pursuant to § 1202A(b) of this title as soon as possible, but in no case more than 48 hours after that determination. The receiving medical facility shall base this determination upon information provided in the request for notification made pursuant to § 1202A(c) of this title and patient records or a finding at the facility.

(c) If, after expiration of the 30 day period, the receiving medical facility cannot determine whether or not the emergency medical care provider has been exposed to a communicable disease, the receiving medical facility shall notify the officer designated pursuant to § 1202A(b) of this title as soon as possible, but not more than 48 hours after expiration of the 30 day period.

(d) If a request for notification has been made pursuant to § 1202A(c) of this title, the receiving medical facility shall provide to the Division a copy of the form which shall include information about whether or not the patient is infected with a communicable disease; and if exposure to the patient is considered by the receiving medical facility to be in a manner known to transmit that communicable disease. The Division shall settle any disputes regarding whether or not an emergency medical care provider has or has not been exposed to a communicable disease.

68 Del. Laws, c. 415, § 1; 69 Del. Laws, c. 108, § 4.;

In recognition of the importance of universal precautions to the control of communicable diseases from a patient to an emergency medical care provider, education and training with respect to universal precautions shall be a mandatory component of any required training and any required continuing education for all emergency medical care providers who have patient contact. Training requirements for this purpose shall be established by the Division of Public Health.

68 Del. Laws, c. 415, § 1; 70 Del. Laws, c. 147, § 8; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1.;

(a) The Division of Public Health shall make such rules and regulations as may in its judgment be necessary to carry out the provisions of this section, and may make additions of other communicable diseases which shall be subject to this chapter.

(b) The Division of Public Health may issue regulations necessary to ensure compliance with this chapter relating to patients who are transferred between institutions, or who may die during or shortly after being transferred. The Division of Public Health shall require emergency medical care facilities to notify the officer designated pursuant to § 1202A(b) of this title when an emergency care provider has been exposed to a communicable disease identified by the Division of Public Health to be transmitted through the air, even if a request for notification has not been made pursuant to § 1202A(c) of this title.

68 Del. Laws, c. 415, § 1; 69 Del. Laws, c. 108, § 5; 70 Del. Laws, c. 147, §§ 9, 10; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1.;

A person who has knowledge of the identity of any person upon whom an HIV related test is performed, or the results of such test, in accordance with this chapter, shall maintain the confidentiality of that information pursuant to § 717 of this title.

68 Del. Laws, c. 415, § 1; 78 Del. Laws, c. 277, §§ 2, 3.;

All information contained in requests for notification and in the notification itself shall be confidential and used solely for the purposes of complying with this chapter. However, any person or agency, including but not limited to a receiving medical care facility or officer designated pursuant to § 1202A(b) of this title, acting in good faith to provide notification in accordance with this chapter, shall not be liable in any cause of action related to the breach of patient confidentiality.

68 Del. Laws, c. 415, § 1; 69 Del. Laws, c. 108, § 6.;

A receiving medical care facility or officer designated pursuant to § 1202A(b) of this title, acting in good faith to provide notification in accordance with this chapter, shall not be liable in any cause of action for failure to give the required notice if the emergency medical care provider fails to properly initiate the notification procedures pursuant to § 1202A of this title.

68 Del. Laws, c. 415, § 1; 69 Del. Laws, c. 108, § 7.;

This chapter shall apply in the same manner and to the same extent to any emergency medical care provider who is a minor and above the age of 15, as if such minor were 21 years or older.

69 Del. Laws, c. 108, § 8.;