Ebola facts and checklist for healthcare providers

iStock | dina2001
iStock | dina2001

As a nurse, you’ve likely been following news of the Ebola outbreaks very closely. Unfortunately, as you’ve probably seen, much of the reporting on the subject has done little more than spread panic without giving any real facts. So Brittney from The Nerdy Nurse is setting the record straight with facts and a checklist for healthcare providers. See what she has to say below:

The Ebola situation has many in the United States at panic levels. We’ve already had several patients with Ebola on U.S. soil. We’ve already had a death caused by Ebola. The media is spreading panic and is doing a terrible job at informing the public of any real facts.

The American Association for Accreditation of Ambulatory Surgery Facilities, Inc. (AAAASF) released the following Ebola facts and checklist.

Facts about Ebola in the United States

  • Ebola is a severe, often fatal disease in humans and non-human primates such as monkeys, gorillas and chimpanzees.
  • Humans cannot get Ebola through the air, water or food.
  • Ebola can be obtained by touching the blood or bodily fluids of a person who is sick with or has died from Ebola.
  • Ebola can be obtained by touching contaminated objects, such as needles.
  • Ebola can be obtained by touching infected animals, their blood or other bodily fluids, or their meat.
  • Those infected with the Ebola virus should be isolated, provided intravenous fluids and balancing electrolytes, and [helped to] maintain oxygen status and blood pressure.

Ebola checklist for outpatient facilities

  • Monitor the situation at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website.
  • Assess and ensure availability of appropriate personal protective equipment and other infection control supplies such as hand hygiene supplies.
  • Review facility infection control policies.
  • Recognize a case of Ebola and be prepared to use appropriate infection control measures.
  • Review environmental cleaning procedures.
  • Begin education and refresher training for healthcare providers on Ebola virus disease signs and symptoms, diagnosis, how to obtain specimens for testing, triage procedures, employee sick leave policies, how and to whom.
  • Ebola cases should be reported and procedures to take following unprotected exposures.
  • Avoid contact with the blood or bodily fluids of an infected patient.
  • Have the capability to request diagnostic tests or prepare samples for shipping and testing elsewhere.
  • Ensure laboratories review procedures for appropriate specimen collection, transport and testing of specimens from patients who may be infected with Ebola virus.

To read the rest of Brittney’s thoughts, head on over to The Nerdy Nurse. Then, in the comments below, share your own tips for infection prevention.

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