What You Need To Know About Ebola

Nurse_SpringINToFaction_Meme.jpgThis is a resource page for everyone concerned about Ebola. We will be updating this post with the latest information and resources.

11/12- UPDATE:  SEIU 721 releases a contact phone number list for LA County healthcare workers if they have questions or concerns about Ebola preparedness. Click here.

CDC releases protocols for out patient settings. Click here.

LA County names 5 UC Hospitals as priority hospitals to treat patients with Ebola. Click here.

Facts about Ebola in the US: Click here

CDC publishes an info graphic to help healthcare workers if they suspect a patient may have Ebola. Click here.

Stronger Safety Standards for Healthcare Workers Caring for Ebola Patients

Learning from the recent variances of Ebola care at U.S. hospitals, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has issued stronger safety standards for healthcare workers who are caring for patients infected with Ebola. The updated protocols include personal protective equipment that covers the entire body and leaves no skin exposed.

The protocols stress that all healthcare workers providing care undergo repeated and rigorous training and show competency in putting on and removing personal protective equipment. Also, the new guidelines call for facilities to name a site manager who will be charged with overseeing all processes and protocols related to that treatment.

Cal/OSHA issued an Interim Guidance document on Ebola. Click here to read it.

The University of Nebraska Medical Center created two illustrated guides to putting on and taking off biological personal protective equipment: 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) confirmed on September 30 the first case of Ebola to be diagnosed in the United States in a person who had traveled to Dallas from West Africa. The person sought medical care at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital of Dallas after developing symptoms consistent with Ebola. Based on the person’s travel history and symptoms, the CDC recommended testing for Ebola. The medical facility isolated the patient and sent specimens for testing to the CDC. The CDC and the Texas Health Department reported the laboratory test results to the medical center to inform the patient. Local public health officials have identified all close contacts of the person for further daily monitoring for 21 days after exposure. The patient died of Ebola on October 8 and was cremated. The CDC confirmed on October 12 that a healthcare worker who had been caring for the patient in Texas has tested positive for the virus. Ebola’s further spread can be halted, according to the CDC, thorough case finding, isolation of ill people, contacting people exposed to the ill person, and further isolation of contacts if they develop symptoms.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has vital information and resources, as well as the latest news, about Ebola Hemorrhagic Fever on its website. Here are just a few of them:

• What is Ebola’s clinical definition and clinical course?

• What is Ebola?

• Is your hospital prepared?

• What do you need to know as a healthcare worker?

The CDC recommends the use of respiratory protection during all aerosol-generating procedures performed on a suspected/known patient. In California, hospitals must adhere to the Cal/OSHA Aerosol Transmissible Disease (ATD) Standard. SEIU and the Nurse Alliance of California fought for and won the ATD standard in 2009 and it is the only mandatory standard in the United States that includes Ebola. You have the right to request and receive your employer’s ATD policy and to make certain you are provided the appropriate trainings on the Cal/OSHA regulation.

Strict compliance with Cal/OSHA’s Bloodborne Pathogens (BBP) Standard is also crucial, including the use of safer needles and sharps, as required in the BBP. Frontline workers must be involved in the evaluation and selection of these safer technologies.

Check back for updates.

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