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DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) — The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has invested $2.7 million in personal protective equipment to assist U.S. hospitals in caring for Ebola patients.
The organization is preparing 50 kits that can be quickly distributed to hospitals. Each kit can provide equipment needed to care for a single Ebola patient for up to five days.
The kits will be stored at a Strategic National Stockpile facility and available to meet the sudden increase in demand for PPE.
“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 equipment will match PPE standards issued by the CDC on Oct. 20.
The CDC purchases include: impermeable gowns, coveralls, and aprons; boot covers; gloves; face shields and hoods; N95 respirators; powered-air purifying respirator systems and ancillaries; and disinfecting wipes.
If a hospital is in need of PPE from the CDC, they must work with their state health department to request the equipment.
Amber Vinson, one of two nurses who contracted Ebola while working at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital, says increased training is needed for healthcare workers caring for Ebola patients.
“The first time that I put on the protective equipment, I was heading in to take care of the patient,” Vinson told NBC’s “Today” show on Thursday.
Medical reports released by the family of deceased patient Thomas Duncan indicate that Vinson and Nina Pham — the other nurse who successfully recovered from Ebola — wore protective gear and a face shield, hazardous materials suit, and protective footwear.
Texas’ Health Services Commissioner Dr. David Lakey says the CDC’s initial guidelines for PPE were inadequate.
“The guidance that was in place at the time, which was the best guidance that was out there when it was applied in a community hospital, wasn’t good enough to protect them. That’s why the CDC has re-done their requirements.”
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