2015 Connecticut General Statutes
Title 19a - Public Health and Well-Being
Chapter 368ll - Miscellaneous Provisions
Section 19a-904 - Emergency service members and exposure to infectious diseases. Definitions. Designated officers. Duties of hospital. Request for notification. Immunity from liability.

CT Gen Stat § 19a-904 (2015) What's This?

(a) As used in this section:

(1) “Infectious disease” means any infectious disease on the list developed by the United States Secretary of Health and Human Services pursuant to 42 USC 300ff-131, as amended from time to time, and any infectious disease designated by the Commissioner of Public Health pursuant to subsection (b) of this section;

(2) “Airborne infectious disease” means any infectious disease specified as an airborne infectious disease on the list of infectious diseases developed by the United States Secretary of Health and Human Services pursuant to 42 USC 300ff-131, as amended from time to time, and any infectious disease so designated by the Commissioner of Public Health pursuant to subsection (b) of this section;

(3) “Exposed” means to be in circumstances in which there is a recognized risk for transmission of an infectious disease from a human source to an emergency services member, or in the case of an infectious disease designated by the United States Secretary of Health and Human Services as a select agent, from a surface or environment contaminated by the agent to an emergency services member;

(4) “Patient” means a person, whether alive or dead, who has been attended, treated, assisted, handled or transported for medical care by an emergency services member as a result of an emergency;

(5) “Emergency services member” means any police officer as defined in section 7-294a, member of a paid or volunteer fire department, emergency medical technician, ambulance driver, or paramedic as defined in section 19a-175, when acting in an official capacity;

(6) “Emergency medical technician” means any class of emergency medical technician certified under regulations adopted pursuant to section 19a-179, including, but not limited to, any advanced emergency medical technician or emergency medical responder;

(7) “Emergency services organization” means the Division of State Police within the Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection, an organized local police department, municipal constabulary, paid or volunteer fire department, ambulance company or any organization whether public, private or voluntary that offers transportation or treatment services to patients under emergency conditions;

(8) “Hospital” has the same meaning as in section 19a-490;

(9) “Designated officer” means the employee or volunteer of an emergency services organization designated in accordance with subdivision (1) of subsection (c) of this section; and

(10) “Hospital contact person” means the employee of a hospital designated by such hospital in accordance with subdivision (2) of subsection (c) of this section.

(b) The Commissioner of Public Health may designate a disease as an infectious disease or an airborne infectious disease, as both terms are defined in subsection (a) of this section. The commissioner shall adopt regulations in accordance with chapter 54 to designate a disease as an infectious disease or airborne infectious disease in accordance with the provisions of this subsection. The commissioner may implement such designations while in the process of adopting such designations in regulation form, provided the commissioner publishes notice of intention to adopt the regulations on the Department of Public Health’s Internet web site and the eRegulations System within twenty days of implementing such designations. Designations implemented pursuant to this subsection shall be valid until the time such regulations are effective.

(c) (1) Each emergency services organization shall designate one employee or volunteer to act as the designated officer to receive notification of cases where persons have possibly been exposed to infectious disease, investigate such cases, maintain contact information for hospital contact persons, request further information from hospital contact persons and maintain any records required under this section. The designated officer may designate another employee or volunteer to serve as his or her designee in the event that the designated officer is unavailable.

(2) Each hospital shall designate one employee to act as the hospital contact person to notify designated officers of cases where persons have possibly been exposed to airborne infectious disease and to receive and respond to requests from designated officers for information concerning the results of any test performed on a patient to determine the presence of an infectious disease. The hospital contact person may designate another employee of the hospital to serve as his or her designee in the event that the hospital contact person is unavailable.

(d) (1) Any hospital that diagnoses a patient as having an airborne infectious disease shall, through its hospital contact person, verbally notify the designated officer of the emergency services organization that attended, treated, assisted, handled or transported such patient no later than forty-eight hours after making such a diagnosis, and shall make such notification in writing not later than seventy-two hours after such diagnosis. Such notification shall include, but not be limited to, the diagnosis and the date on which the patient was attended, treated, assisted, handled or transported as a result of an emergency to such hospital, provided the identity of the patient shall not be disclosed in any such notification.

(2) Any hospital that determines that a patient, who died at or before reaching such hospital and who was attended, treated, assisted, handled or transported by an emergency services member, had an airborne infectious disease shall, through its hospital contact person, notify the designated officer of such determination no later than forty-eight hours after making such determination.

(e) (1) Any member of an emergency service organization who believes that he or she may have been exposed to an infectious disease through the member’s contact with a patient who was attended, treated, assisted, handled or transported by the member shall report such incident during which the member believes to have been exposed to an infectious disease to the designated officer. The designated officer shall immediately collect the facts surrounding such incident and evaluate such facts to make a determination of whether it would be reasonable to believe that the member may have been exposed to an infectious disease. If the designated officer determines that it is reasonable to believe that the member may have been exposed to an infectious disease, the designated officer shall submit a written request to the hospital contact person at the hospital that received the patient requesting to be notified of the results of any test performed on the patient to determine the presence of an infectious disease. The request shall include:

(A) The name, address and telephone number of the designated officer submitting the request;

(B) The name of the designated officer’s employer or, in the case of a volunteer emergency services member, the entity for which the designated officer volunteers, and the name and contact information of the emergency services member who may have been exposed to the infectious disease; and

(C) The date, time, location and manner of the incident during which the member may have been exposed.

(2) Such request shall be valid for ten days after it is made. If at the end of such ten-day period no test has been performed to determine the presence of an infectious disease, no diagnosis has been made or the result of the test is negative, the hospital shall, through its hospital contact person, so notify the designated officer who made the request. The notification shall not include the name of the patient.

(3) Any hospital that receives a written request for notification shall, through its hospital contact person, give an oral notification of the presence of an infectious disease or of a confirmed positive test result, if known, to the designated officer no later than forty-eight hours after receiving such request, and shall send a written notification no later than three days after receiving such request. If an infectious disease is present or the test results are confirmed positive, both the oral and written notification shall include the name of the infectious disease and the date on which the patient was attended, treated, assisted, handled or transported by the emergency services organization. Such notification shall not disclose the name of the patient.

(4) If a designated officer makes a request pursuant to this subsection and the patient has died at, or before reaching, the hospital receiving such request, the hospital shall, through its hospital contact person, provide a copy of the request to the medical facility ascertaining the cause of death if such facility is not the hospital that received the original request.

(f) (1) Not later than January 1, 2016, each emergency services organization shall notify the Commissioner of Public Health, or the commissioner’s designee, of its designated officer and the designated officer’s contact information.

(2) Not later than January 1, 2016, each hospital shall notify said commissioner, or said commissioner’s designee, of its hospital contact person and the hospital contact person’s contact information.

(3) Each emergency services organization and hospital shall promptly notify said commissioner of any change of the designated officer or hospital contact person or such person’s contact information.

(g) The Commissioner of Public Health, or the commissioner’s designee, shall assist designated officers and hospital contact persons in answering questions with respect to responsibilities of a designated officer or hospital contact person under the provisions of this section. Said commissioner shall, on and after January 1, 2016, maintain and update, as necessary, a list of designated officers and hospital contact persons along with such designated officers’ and hospital contact persons’ contact information and make such list available to the public on the Department of Public Health’s Internet web site.

(h) No cause of action for damages shall arise, or any civil penalty be imposed, against any hospital, hospital contact person or designated officer for failure to comply with the duties established by this section. Notwithstanding the provisions of this subsection, the Commissioner of Public Health may take any action specified in subdivisions (1) to (5), inclusive, of subsection (a) of section 19a-17 and section 19a-494 for a violation of the provisions of this section as the commissioner deems appropriate.

(P.A. 09-76, S. 1; 09-232, S. 43; P.A. 10-18, S. 18; 10-117, S. 22; P.A. 11-51, S. 134; P.A. 15-242, S. 51.)

History: P.A. 09-232 redefined “infectious disease” in Subsec. (a)(1); P.A. 10-18 amended Subsec. (a)(5) by replacing “emergency medical technician-intermediate” with “advanced emergency medical technician” and by replacing “medical response technician” with “emergency medical responder”; P.A. 10-117 made technical changes in Subsec. (a)(5), effective June 8, 2010; pursuant to P.A. 11-51, “Department of Public Safety” was changed editorially by the Revisors to “Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection” in Subsec. (a)(6), effective July 1, 2011; P.A. 15-242 amended Subsec. (a) by redefining “infectious disease” in Subdiv. (1), deleting former Subdiv. (2) defining “exposure”, adding new Subdiv. (2) defining “airborne infectious disease”, adding new Subdiv. (3) defining “exposed”, redesignating existing Subdivs. (3) to (8) as Subdivs. (4) to (9) and adding Subdiv. (10) defining “hospital contact person”, added new Subsec. (b) re designation of a disease by commissioner, redesignated existing Subsec. (b) as Subsec. (c)(1) and amended same by making technical changes, added Subsec. (c)(2) re designation of contact person, redesignated existing Subsec. (c) as Subsec. (d) and amended same by changing “infectious pulmonary tuberculosis” to “an airborne infectious disease” and adding references to hospital contact person, redesignated existing Subsec. (d) as Subsec. (e) and amended same by making technical changes in Subdiv. (1) and adding references to hospital contact person, added Subsec. (f) re notifying commissioner, added Subsec. (g) re assisting designated officers and contact persons in answering questions, redesignated existing Subsec. (e) as Subsec. (h) and amended same by adding reference to hospital contact person and provisions re commissioner taking action for violations, and made a conforming change.

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