California Announces New Rules to Ensure Safety of Nurses Taking Care of Ebola Patients

The California Occupational Safety and Health Administration or Cal-OSHA, announced a new regulation on Friday, which included requiring acute-care hospitals to provide hazardous material suits, respirators and isolation rooms to handle patients who either have or are suspected of having Ebola.

The new rules elaborate upon guidelines issued in October and are more comprehensive than those set before by the federal Centers for Disease Control.

These latest regulations are most advanced in the nation. Civil penalties against hospitals will be charged if in case they ignore the regulations. Furthermore hospitals have to make it mandatory to ensure the safety of nurses as per the guidelines given by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

It has been reported that concerns related to Ebola have triggered after two registered nurses at a Dallas hospital got infected with the virus, while taking care of an Ebola infected patient.

Although both the nurses were provided best treatment, but a physician who had been working in Sierra Leone died of Ebola on Monday after being flown to Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha for treatment.

These mandates were issued by Cal-OSHA, after its 18,000 nurses went on strike on Tuesday and Wednesday, to raise the issue and to draw attention towards dangers faced by nurses who are taking care for both confirmed and suspected Ebola patients.

RoseAnn DeMoro, executive director of National Nurses United (NNU), said that the strike was instrumental. And they wanted California to set an example before nation and provide nurses with all the necessary safety equipments that are needed to protect themselves from being infected by the Ebola virus.

It was found that DeMore along with 60 other nurses met California Gov. Jerry Brown (D) on October 21 to discuss their issues about safety of nurses. DeMore said Governor understood their situation and he was appalled.

Jerry Brown