The aim of this essay is to provide a discussion on control of Ebola infection as a healthcare acquired infection (HAI), that is, if it is not handled well. This essay highlights the care when handling an Ebola patient (Infection Control Policy, 2010), the isolation requirements, sterilization requirements of the equipment’s to be used in the management of the patient, Personal Protective Equipment’s (PPE) for the healthcare personnel and lastly the departments relevant for the control of the Ebola infection in the various healthcare centers.
Ebola is categorized as Healthcare Acquired Infection too as it can be spread through broken skin or the mucous membranes of the mouth, eyes, or nose, this is according to (Guidance on Personal Protective Equipment To Be Used by Healthcare Workers , 2014). Having contact with the blood or body fluids of an infected person or the patient who died from Ebola Virus Disease (EVD), or at times with the objects that have contact or contaminated with the virus. The healthcare personnel taking care of the patients suffering from Ebola virus should be ready with PPE for the body coverage to reduce the risk of self-contamination.
The patient with EVD must be identified first and then isolated in a single patient room, where all the doors are closed and inside it, there is a private bathroom. The number of healthcare personnel coming into contact with the patient should be limited and all other personnel not essential in this case are not to be given access. The personnel given the access into this room should login in a book that ensures the information of the health care provider in the room. Observation of the heal care workers inside the room should be implemented in a way that the supervisor directs the other burses of what to be done. The observer should be well trained with enough experience and provides directions during donning and doffing, and should be assured of the protocols required in the processes.
There should be the use of dedicated medical equipment, mostly the most preferred are the disposable, and these are the recommended equipment for providing health care. There should be frequent disinfection of the gloves that are being used, this can be done by spraying the alcohol-based hand rub (ABHR), this after handling the body fluids of an infected Ebola patient. Evidence of contaminated equipment, should be disinfected using EPA registered disinfectant wipe that cleans all the equipment. The non-dedicated and that medical equipment that are not disposable should be cleaned and disinfected according to the instructions given by the manufacturer.
PPE refers to the respirators that are used in the protection of the skin, mucous membranes from contacting infectious agents. To select the PPE to be used depends on the transmission of the infection, and how the patient is to be interacted with. Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to be worn in this process of patient management includes the gloves, isolation gowns, masks, and goggles for face protection. The gloves are worn to prevent the contamination of the hands of heal care handler through direct contact with body fluids or blood of the infected patient. It also protects the patient from having direct contact with the equipment used in the handling of patient. According to (Healthcare Acquired Infections (HAI), 2014), the equipment should be disposed appropriately in order to avoid further spread of the infection.
In summary, the outbreak of Ebola was recently observed in West African countries, and therefore all the nursing personnel should be ready and skilled with the requirements on ensuring that the infection of the Ebola virus does spread or infect the nursing personnel and other patients in a healthcare environment.