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Nurses against Ebola stage “die-in” in Vegas

Last week, nurses gathered in Las Vegas to raise awareness for what they believe is a lack of preparedness by U.S. hospitals for a potential Ebola outbreak. The gathering came just days before the first case of Ebola to be diagnosed was confirmed by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).

Nurses were in town for the California Nurses Association and National Nurses United convention, according to the Las Vegas Sun. Around 1,000 nurses donned bright red T-shirts (some also wore faux hazmat suits) to stage what they termed a “die-in.” The nurses gathered outside the Bellagio fountain and many fell to the ground. Other nurses traced a chalk outline of the nurses and included the hashtag #StopEbolaRNRN. There also was a moment of silence held for the health workers who have died from the disease in Africa.

The protesters felt that the U.S. would not be prepared for the disease if it came to our shores.

“It’s not acceptable that these people are dying,” said RoseAnn DeMoro, executive director of National Nurses United. “It is going to come here.”

Watch a video featuring DeMoro and footage of the “die-in” below:

The first patient to be diagnosed in the U.S. traveled from West Africa to Dallas and developed symptoms five days after arriving in the U.S. Before that, the only cases of Ebola in the U.S. were diagnosed in Africa and brought to the U.S. for treatment. The chief nurse of Emory University Hospital, where those Ebola patients were treated, wrote about the decision to bring those cases to the U.S.

Additionally, President Obama called on the U.S. to lead the fight against the outbreak. But even with the 3,000 troops he pledged to send to the region, the CDC estimates the number of cases will continue to grow and may reach 1.4 million by January.

Nurses, what do you think of the “die-in”? Do you agree that U.S. hospitals are unprepared for an Ebola outbreak? What do you think hospitals and healthcare workers can do to better prepare?

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2 Responses to Nurses against Ebola stage “die-in” in Vegas

  1. michrn

    Though I admire their commitment and passion, I abhor the message that is being sent by educated health care professionals. Yes, Ebola is a terrifying and deadly disease and yes, we are underprepared in this country for a pandemic. However, I do not believe the answer lies in raising the fear level. Fear begets anger, hate, and discrimination. We have all seen this in practice with hepatitis and HIV. Ebola is not new. Our personal risk of exposure is.

    Let’s educate the public about how it is/is not transmitted: through contaminated blood and body fluids
    Let’s educate the public about universal precautions: glove, gowns, masks, hand hygiene
    Let’s educate the public about the importance of being truthful about exposure: hiding exposure doesn’t help you, it can kill you and everyone you care about

    Let’s most of all be honest with ourselves: we’re scared of going to work and not coming home

  2. Mercy RN

    We are unprepared, understaffed and I don’t trust our government to do what needs to be done to prevent the spread. By the time most hospitals decide a potential patient might be infected the patient will have probably infected everyone in the waiting room, the lab, the radiology the ER doctor and any other person who comes in contact. They are now saying air borne in a small space is possible. How small a space. A CT scan, a MRI, a exam room? This outbreak needs everything to be working perfectly, from our government preventing entrance of potential infected people to our country, to our hospital following exact protocols for containment. I don’t believe it will happen though. This is when staffing at the bare minimum will cause the greatest damage.

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