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Nurses union: Ebola protocols lacking

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Posted at 4:26 PM, Oct 14, 2014
and last updated 2014-10-15 04:07:26-04

A national survey conducted by National Nurses United found most nurses are not prepared and many do not have proper gear to handle patients with Ebola. 

The union reported 2,300 registered nurses throughout the country responded to questions about preparations, plans and education on the virus. 

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“There is no standard short of optimal in protective equipment and hands-on-training that is acceptable,” said RoseAnn DeMoro, executive director of National Nurses United, in a news release. 

The survey comes after Nina Pham, the Dallas nurse infected with Ebola, said she was "doing well", according to The Associated Press.

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Of the respondents, 85 percent said their hospital has not provided education on Ebola with the ability for nurses to interact and ask questions. Also, 40 percent said their hospital has insufficient supplies of eye protection. 

Meanwhile, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Thomas Frieden said Tuesday the first transmission of the disease in the United States showed problems in the system that must change. Frieden said a "relatively large number" of hospital workers at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas are in need of monitoring. 

DeMoro said nurses need better equipment. 

“Nurses and other frontline hospital personnel must have the highest level of protective equipment, such as the Hazmat suits Emery University or the CDC themselves use while transporting patients and hands on training and drills for all RNs and other hospital personnel including the practice putting on and taking off the optimal equipment,” DeMoro said. “The time to act is long overdue.”

One potential Ebola case appears to be cleared after an initial screening showed a patient at a Kansas hospital in isolation due to concerns of Ebola does not have the disease, according to Dr. Lee Norman, the University of Kansas chief medical officer said. 

"The preliminary results are very, very encouraging for this gentleman," Norman said Tuesday. 

MORE | Purdue professor says Ebola "primed" to go airborne

The patient had been held in isolation after showing "serious symptoms", according to KSHB.com. Further tests are still being done, Norman said. 

Officials are still trying to get control of the Ebola crisis in West Africa where the World Health Organization announced up to 10,000 new Ebola cases per week could take place in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone by the end of the year, according to CNN