Emergency Department Processes for the Evaluation and Management of Persons Under Investigation for Ebola Virus Disease.

Annals of Emergency Medicine

PubMedID: 26003001

Wadman MC, Schwedhelm SS, Watson S, Swanhorst J, Gibbs SG, Lowe JJ, Iwen PC, Hayes AK, Needham S, Johnson DW, Kalin DJ, Zeger WG, Muelleman RL. Emergency Department Processes for the Evaluation and Management of Persons Under Investigation for Ebola Virus Disease. Ann Emerg Med. 2015;66(3):306-14.
INTRODUCTION
Due to the recent Ebola virus outbreak in West Africa, patients with epidemiologic risk for Ebola virus disease and symptoms consistent with Ebola virus disease are presenting to emergency departments (EDs) and clinics in the United States. These individuals, identified as a person under investigation for Ebola virus disease, are initially screened using a molecular assay for Ebola virus. If this initial test is negative and the person under investigation has been symptomatic for < 3 days, a repeat test is required after 3 days of symptoms to verify the negative result. In the time interval before the second test result is available, manifestations of the underlying disease process for the person under investigation, whether due to Ebola virus disease or some other etiology, may require further investigation to direct appropriate therapy.

MATERIALS AND METHODS
ED administrators, physicians, and nurses proposed processes to provide care that is consistent with other ED patients. Biocontainment unit administrators, industrial hygienists, laboratory directors, physicians, and other medical personnel examined the ED processes and offered biocontainment unit personal protective equipment and process strategies designed to ensure safety for providers and patients.

CONCLUSION
ED processes for the safe and timely evaluation and management of the person under investigation for Ebola virus disease are presented with the ultimate goals of protecting providers and ensuring a consistent level of care while confirmatory testing is pending.