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AORN J. 2004 Oct;80(4):681-5, 688-9.

Treating patients with smallpox in the operating room.

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  • 1Walter Reed Army Medical Center, Washington, DC, USA.


Recent events around the world have emphasized the need for health care facilities to prepare to deal with biological threats, including smallpox. At Walter Reed Army Medical Center, Washington, DC, administrators recognized the need for a policy on handling patients with smallpox in the OR and asked a group of students to create a template policy for care of patients with smallpox in need of surgery. This article provides a brief history of smallpox, concerns surrounding smallpox today, and smallpox characteristics with which perioperative personnel should be familiar, as well as a guideline for treating patients in the OR who have smallpox.

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