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CDC Increase Ebola-Specific Safety Devices

December 04, 2014

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has invested $2.7 million in safety devices to help protect healthcare workers across America who are currently treating people with suspected Ebola.

Products are being divided into 50 kits, which can then be quickly delivered to hospitals as necessary. Each individual kit can supply the amount of equipment needed by clinical teams to safely manage the care of a single Ebola patient for up to five days.

They will be dispatched whenever a patient is admitted that is suspected of - or has been confirmed with - Ebola.

It is hoped that the supply of kits, although limited, will help address the immediate and short-term needs of hospitals that may not have the right equipment to deal with an Ebola patient.

As well as safety devices, the kits will give hospitals across the US impermeable gowns, coveralls, and aprons; boot covers; gloves; face shields and hoods; N95 respirators; powered-air purifying respirator systems and ancillaries; and disinfecting wipes.

Since the CDC issued its guidance, there has been a sudden increase in demand for safety equipment but the availability for these products can vary massively across the US, depending on product type and model, requested quantity, manufacturer, distributor, and geographic region. 

“We are making certain to not disrupt the orders submitted by states and hospitals, but we are building our stocks so that we can assist when needed. Some of these products are not normally used by hospitals for regular patient care,” said Greg Burel, director of CDC’s Division of Strategic National Stockpile. 

The investment from the CDC shows the importance of having the appropriate amount of equipment in place to keep healthcare workers safe and minimise the risk of people transmitting an infection.

It's important that normal protocol, including the use of safety devices wherever necessary, is used in conjunction with the equipment supplied by the CDC.

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