(Bloomberg) — Hospitals should limit their purchases of sterile Ebola equipment to make sure health workers in West Africa have enough gear, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said.
Most hospitals need enough equipment — like face shields and impermeable gowns — for a day or two of patient care in case a person shows up to the emergency room without warning, the CDC said today in a statement. Medical facilities that have been designated for assessing and treating Ebola patients need more gear, the agency said.
“Hospitals should have the minimum amount of PPE on hand to match their role,” the CDC wrote, referring to personal protective equipment. “All hospitals do not need the same amount of PPE.”
Medical facilities have been pushing to prepare themselves for potential Ebola cases after two nurses in Texas were infected by a patient earlier this year, prompting the CDC to recommend greater safety protections in October. Earlier this month, Congress allocated more than $800 million to prepare and compensate states for readying for Ebola in the U.S.
Panic about the disease has diminished in the U.S., where a verified case of the virus hasn’t been diagnosed since November.