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RNRN is Working to Save Lives in West Africa

RNRN, 8/29/14

Photo credit: © EC/ECHO" /> Photo credit: © EC/ECHO

RNRN is working to save lives by getting protective gear to nurses who are treating patients exposed to or diagnosed with Ebola.

The Ebola outbreak has now killed at least 1,552 people in West Africa and is spiraling out of control, with international healthcare providers saying that they are not able to handle the crisis. The World Health Organization (WHO) has warned the number of Ebola cases could rise to 20,000. The number of diagnosed cases is widely believed to be underreported. Please help now.

"The number of patients we are treating is unlike anything we've seen in previous outbreaks," said Lindis Hurum, Doctors Without Borders/ Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF)'s emergency coordinator in Monrovia. "This is not an Ebola outbreak, it is a humanitarian emergency and it needs a full-scale humanitarian response."

Nurses working in the affected countries are risking their lives to take care of their patients. In some cases, they don't have basic protective gear. More than 240 health workers have been infected and more than 120 have died. Newsweek magazine recently reported that 37 nurses have died from Ebola in Sierra Leone, and the President of the Sierra Leone Nurses Association has demanded that adequate and guaranteed protective gear be provided for nurses.

The RN Response Network (RNRN) is in close contact with groups working on the ground, and the urgent need right now is for the procurement and training of personal protective equipment. RNRN is ready to help provide the desperately needed protective gear that will save health workers’ lives. The cost of a full set of personal protective equipment is approximately $350. Anything that you can give will make a difference.

You can make a difference. Please join RNRN/NNU in our call for donations, and spreading the word about this life saving fundraising drive.

 

Is Your Hospital Prepared for the Ebola Virus?

One of the first potential Ebola cases in the nation appeared at Kaiser Permanente South Sacramento last week. Thankfully the patient tested negative for Ebola. The CDC has investigated 68 potential cases of Ebola in 29 states, and all but two cases have been ruled out as Ebola. The remaining two cases have results pending.  

CDC Director Dr. Thomas Frieden recently said that an outbreak of Ebola in the U.S. is unlikely, but that hospitals could see isolated cases of returning travelers who exhibit symptoms associated with the disease.

In light of the serious nature of the Ebola outbreak, National Nurses United's RNRN has issued a nationwide call to government agencies to affirm their adherence to Center for Disease Control guidelines to protect healthcare personnel, patients and the public from this infection.

“We are hearing reports from nurses that they don't feel safe at their hospitals. Nurses are concerned that the CDC guidelines are not being followed,” said RoseAnn DeMoro, Executive Director of National Nurses United. “These reports are another example of the inadequacies of our current healthcare system, where profit is more important than safe patient care.”

“This potential exposure of patients and health workers illustrates the critical need for planning, preparedness, and protection at the highest level in hospitals throughout the nation,” said Bonnie Castillo, Director of CNA/NNU's RNRN.

Nurses are on the front lines of any public health emergency. Please join us in gathering information about the level of preparedness in our hospitals.

WE NEED YOUR INPUT AND YOUR DONATIONS.

HERE'S WHAT YOU CAN DO TO HELP:

1.    Please fill out the survey so that we can better determine the safety standards in your acute care hospital, and determine next steps to ensure the safest patient care.

2.    Donate to the RNRN's drive to protect nurses with Ebola patients.

Ebola bacteria are transmitted through direct contact with blood or bodily fluids of an infected person, or through exposure to needles that have been contaminated with infected blood or bodily fluids. Healthcare workers must exercise extreme caution and follow CDC guidelines to insure protection from infection.

You can make a difference for healthcare workers abroad and at home by filling out a survey and/or donating today. Please take action.

 

Ebola Virus Fact Sheets

CDC: http://www.cdc.gov/vhf/ebola/resources/pdfs/ebola-factsheet.pdf

WHO: http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs103/en/

 

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