Ebola Education and Information for Providers
As many providers are already aware, there have been multiple suspected cases of Ebola in the continental U.S. with at least one confirmed case of Ebola in Dallas, Texas. While the instance or chance of managing a suspect case remains unlikely, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health has been actively working with the CDC and internally to prepare to handle suspected cases. As part of that planning and preparedness the CDC has provided an “EMS Checklist for Ebola Preparedness” for services to educate their providers about proper precautions, recognition of Ebola symptoms, decontamination, etc.
Region IV recommends that all EMS providers be made aware of this checklist and be educated about Ebola, the signs and symptoms, PPE, notification recommendations, and decontamination procedures. The CDC EMS Checklist provides step by step instructions for dealing with suspected Ebola patients as well as links to the related information about Ebola.
More guidance will be released from both MA-DPH over the next week. Special consideration needs to be given to ensuring your EMS crews are well versed in the donning and doffing of PPE as well as complete all necessary training related to respiratory protection, i.e. fit tests for N-95 and the use of PAPR (if applicable).
The empirical tenets of “scene safety and body substance isolation” are the foundation for all EMS responses. Be safe. Be smart. Be prepared. Please have call receivers/dispatchers obtain a travel history from callers on patients with complaints of fever and/or nausea and vomiting. This information should be forwarded to the appropriate responders who should take protocol-based precautions as indicated.
Should you have any questions regarding the EMS checklist for Ebola Preparedness or with regards with how to handle interactions with families, other providers, healthcare institutions, or reporting please contact our office at 781-505-4367 or email us email@example.com
Please also the CDC's website: http://www.cdc.gov/vhf/ebola/hcp/interim-guidance-emergency-medical-services-systems-911-public-safety-answering-points-management-patients-known-suspected-united-states.html
(Cross-posted to our News Page)