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After much deliberation and a thorough study of health workers from Doctors Without Borders treating Ebola patients in West Africa, the CDC has identified key measures in reducing transmission risk. The updated guidelines regarding personal protective equipment address required materials as well as methods of addressing potential Ebola patients safely. The techniques identified have been utilized by the 3,000 health workers already treating patients in Sierra Leone, Guinea, and Liberia with great success.
Types of Equipment Required:
- 2 pairs of gloves doubled-up
- Waterproof boot covers of mid-calf length
- Single use gown extending to mid-calf
- Respirator mask - N95 or powered air-purifying
- Waterproof aprons
How Personal Protective Equipment is Used:
In addition to training, healthcare institutions are expected to follow certain guidelines regarding assessment, protection, and treatment of Ebola patients. Patients should be screened promptly, in isolated, well cleaned rooms. If there is a risk of Ebola, the hospital should initialize a preparedness plan where no workers have contact without personal protective equipment. A monitor will be present for the donning and removal of personal protective equipment to ensure complete skin coverage and safe removal of contaminated items. Before removing items, healthcare workers should use disinfecting wipes.
What if a Patient Needs Treatment for Ebola?
There are currently four locations that have appropriate training and facilities for effective treatment of Ebola patients. The hospitals with bio-containment units are:
- National Institutes of Health hospital in Maryland
- NebraskaMedicalCenter in Omaha
- EmoryUniversityHospital in Atlanta
- St.PatrickHospital in Missoula, Montana
These facilities have already followed the outlined procedures without any infection.