This module covers the basic concepts for evaluating and briefly managing a patient under investigation for Ebola. Although all U.S. healthcare facilities need to screen and promptly identify patients at risk for Ebola, the content of this module is primarily for Ebola Assessment Hospitals. These hospitals need to be capable of initial evaluation and care of these patients for up to 96 hours until Ebola testing is complete and a diagnosis of Ebola is confirmed or ruled out. Plans should be developed and practiced for safely transporting patients within the facility, designating and preparing a patient room and adjacent spaces to be used by staff, training staff on the use of personal protective equipment, laboratory safety, communications, and environmental infection control and waste management, among other topics. Public health authorities should be consulted promptly for additional information and guidance, and to facilitate transfer of the patient to an Ebola Treatment Center, if necessary.
This module provides guidance to frontline and assessment hospitals for developing plans and procedures for safely implementing appropriate isolation precautions for a patient under investigation for Ebola. The module is focused on the emergency department, which is the likely first point of contact. Planning and adhering to these precautions will minimize the risk of infecting patients, staff, and visitors while these patients are evaluated. The module also outlines guidance for coordinating with public health authorities during the evaluation of patients under investigation for Ebola.
Healthcare facilities that provide urgent care and emergency services are first points of contact for returning travelers who might have Ebola. This module provides guidance to emergency departments for developing plans and procedures for screening all patients for relevant travel history, risk factors for Ebola, and signs and symptoms that might be consistent with Ebola. Important concepts are outlined regarding safe, patient- and family-centered screening procedures that can appropriately diagnose and manage Ebola or other illnesses while ensuring respect for the patient and protection of the patient’s privacy throughout the screening process.
The latest Ebola outbreak is the largest the world has ever seen, with more than 4,500 confirmed deaths in west Africa. Patients are often killed not by the virus itself, but by the overreaction of their immune system to the infection. Here, Ian Sample explains how Ebola is transmitted, the organs it disrupts, the symptoms of infection and the chances of survival.
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