Another American healthcare worker who may have been exposed to Ebola in West Africa has arrived at Emory University Hospital in Atlanta for treatment, according to Forbes.
The name of the worker and when the patient arrived at the hospital were not released. But Forbes reports the hospital will house the patient in its Serious Communicable Diseases Unit.
The hospital--one of 35 facilities the U.S. has designated to accept Ebola patients--has successfully treated four previous American Ebola patients, including two American aid workers and a nurse who contracted the virus while caring for the country's first case at Dallas' Texas Presbyterian Hospital, with CEO Bob Bachman stating the hospital "felt a moral obligation" to accept the patients.
Meanwhile, the Massachusetts Nurses Association (MNA) became the latest of several nurses' unions to warn that healthcare workers are inadequately prepared to treat the virus in the wake of an unidentified patient entering Massachusetts General Hospital for testing. The hospital is not on the list released this week as a designated Ebola hospital, although eight facilities in the Bay State want to get on the official list, MyFoxBoston.com reports, and the state Department of Public Health announced in late October that six hospitals were prepared to treat a limited number of cases. However, there could easily be a "break in the system" without uniform training, MNA Director of Public Communications David Schildmeier told Boston.com.
"The level of training differs from hospital to hospital and that's our concern," Schildmeier said. "OSHA in California has dictated uniform protocols for handling Ebola and personal protective equipment for caregivers that are mandated for all hospitals. In our system we don't have that and we need it."
Randomized, controlled trials (RCTs) could aid in containing the spread of the virus, according to an essay published in the New England Journal of Medicine. "RCTs will yield the safety and effectiveness data that are so desperately needed and will do so ethically, giving all patients in a study an equal opportunity to receive the often limited supply of investigational drugs," the authors write. However, some advocates have raised ethical concerns about RCTs, since by definition they involve giving some patients placebos, FierceHealthcare previously reported.