EMSA Paramedics Prepared For Potential Ebola Patients

Thursday, October 9th 2014, 7:15 pm
By: News 9

EMSA paramedics don't have to put on communicable disease protection very often, but the package of equipment is there just in case.

EMSA paramedic John Graham said there's a heightened awareness of the deadly Ebola virus, meaning there's a renewed focus on personal protective equipment, or PPE's.

The PPE's used to keep bodily fluids from touching a medical professional include thick gloves, a gown, goggles, a mask and bags to place impacted items in.

Investigators in Texas wore PPE's when going into Thomas Duncan's Dallas apartment after he was diagnosed with the deadly virus.

And EMSA paramedic John Graham said he thinks more medical professionals will wear them all over the country, just out of caution.

“There may be an increase in the use of protective barriers especially if they answer yes to questions about traveling out of the area, we certainly will. And if we can't get good answers because of their condition, then we may don them anyway just to be sure,” Graham said.

In fact, Graham said he suspects so many medical professionals will don them anyway just to be sure, he's worried there could be a shortage of PPE's.

So worried, he didn't want to open one to show us.

Although it's a tough virus to contract, requiring contact with bodily fluids, EMSA officials said they would know exactly what to do if someone in the area experiences symptoms.

“We've been prepared. We are prepared. We hope we don't see it, of course, but if we do, we'll be ready.”

EMSA officials said they're hearing from the CDC every day, receiving Ebola-related updates including new guidelines, procedures and quick reference points for paramedics.