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What Should You Do If A Fly Gets Into Your Anti-Ebola Goggles?

Among the dilemmas that arise when health workers are in their protective garb: What if you can't find the person assigned to be your Ebola Treatment Unit partner?
John W. Poole

So you're in Ebola treatment clinic. Your body is covered head-to-toe in a plastic protective suit, a hood, goggles, gloves and rubber boots. Then, all of a sudden, your nose itches.

What should you do?

Or what happens if you need to pee? Or a fly infiltrates your goggles?

In this second installment drawn from the World Health Organization training manual for Ebola healthcare workers, we look at the routine hazards that suddenly don't seem so routine in a treatment center.

"When people come to our training, there is often apprehension," says Dr. Shevin Jacob of the University of Washington, who has led WHO training sessions in Liberia and Sierra Leone for the last two months. "We've had some healthcare workers trembling before going into a simulation."

One thing that helps is the buddy system. Every health worker in the treatment unit is paired up with another health worker — they each watch over the other's protective gear and can call on each other in an emergency.

Below you'll find excerpts that cover the everyday mistakes a clinician could make in an Ebola treatment unit. The manual was provided by the a global health network in charge of creating WHO training guides.

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Nsikan Akpan
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