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Considerations for safe EMS transport of patients infected with Ebola virus

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Title

Considerations for safe EMS transport of patients infected with Ebola virus

Subject

Description

The Nebraska Biocontainment Unit through the Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha, Nebraska, recently received patients with confirmed Ebola virus from West Africa.

Date

2015-06-01

Citation

Lowe, J. J., K. C. Jelden, P. J. Schenarts, L. E. Rupp, K. J. Hawes, B. M. Tysor, R. G. Swansiger, S. S. Schwedhelm, P. W. Smith and S. G. Gibbs (2015). "Considerations for safe EMS transport of patients infected with Ebola virus." Prehosp Emerg Care 19(2): 179-183.

Abstract

The Nebraska Biocontainment Unit through the Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha, Nebraska, recently received patients with confirmed Ebola virus from West Africa. The Nebraska Biocontainment Unit and Omaha Fire Department's emergency medical services (EMS) coordinated patient transportation from airport to the high-level isolation unit. Transportation of these highly infectious patients capitalized on over 8 years of meticulous planning and rigorous infection control training to ensure the safety of transport personnel as well as the community during transport. Although these transports occurred with advanced notice and after confirmed Ebola virus disease (EVD) diagnosis, approaches and key lessons acquired through this effort will advance the ability of any EMS provider to safely transport a confirmed or suspected patient with EVD. Three critical areas have been identified from our experience: ambulance preparation, appropriate selection and use of personal protective equipment, and environmental decontamination.

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