How to Manage Patients with EVD

 In Nurses Weekly

Outbreaks of Ebola virus disease (EVD) are ongoing in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and Guinea. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is providing this communication as a reminder to U.S. healthcare personnel about CDC infection prevention and control guidance for identifying and managing patients with possible and confirmed EVD.

Please share this information with all personnel who might conduct screening and triage activities or be responsible for initial clinical management of patients (e.g., including emergency medical services, outpatient, and emergency department personnel).

Triage of Patients

Currently, all U.S. healthcare settings are recommended to screen and triage everyone entering the facility for signs and symptoms of COVID-19.

Additionally, it is recommended that facilities:

  • Ask about and document international travel histories to alert healthcare personnel to the possibility of other communicable infections, such as viral hemorrhagic fevers, that need specific infection control precautions and/or treatment.
  • Post contact information for infection control personnel and the local public health jurisdiction for reporting of communicable diseases, including EVD, in easily visible locations.

Current Infection Prevention and Control Recommendations for EVD in U.S. Healthcare Facilities

Current CDC infection prevention and control guidance for U.S. healthcare facilities is available on the CDC Ebola website for clinicians. Specific guidance and tools that may be of interest to facilities include:

A healthcare facility evaluating a PUI or treating a patient with EVD should consult with public health authorities if they are unable to meet these recommendations due to PPE shortages caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Regional Treatment Network for Ebola and Other Special Pathogens

Healthcare facilities and public health officials should be familiar with the tiered U.S. Regional Treatment Network for Ebola and other special pathogens.

  • Healthcare facilities should understand their role in the tiered network as a Frontline facility, State-designated Assessment Hospital, State-designated Treatment Center, or HHS-designated Regional Treatment Center.
  • Healthcare facilities and public health officials should have established plans for how PUIs or EVD patients are to be managed and referred.
  • CDC continues to coordinate with the HHS Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response, Hospital Preparedness Program and the National Emerging Special Pathogens Training and Education Center (NETEC) to increase U.S. capability to safely manage patients with EVD and other special pathogens. NETEC maintains online resources at the link above and remains available to provide consultation to hospitals for managing patients with EVD.

Additional Public Health Resources

CDC has also issued an order for airlines, which you can find here: Order: Requirement for Airlines to Collect Designated Information for Passengers Destined for the United States Who are Departing From, or Were Otherwise Present In, the Democratic Republic of the Congo or the Republic of Guinea | Quarantine | CDC

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