There were times when Ashoka Mukpo didn’t know if he would survive Ebola. Mukpo spent about two and a half weeks in a Nebraska hospital after coming down with Ebola while working as a freelance cameraman in Liberia
He is now back home in Providence.
Mukpo said even thought his symptoms got worse, he knew he was in good hands. After about twelve days he could see in his doctors’ eyes that he was probably going to make it. “I felt that it was manageable, I never felt serious panic coming from any of the nurses,” he said. “So I felt that I was in relatively good hands.”
Lifespan hospitals and CVS pharmacy’s walk-in health clinics say they’ve agreed to share patients’ electronic medical records.
Lifespan is Rhode Island’s biggest health system, and it’s in the midst of implementing a brand new electronic medical records system. A spokeswoman for Lifespan says there’s no timeline yet for the collaboration with CVS Health (formerly CVS Caremark), and the details still have to be worked out. But sometime after the system is live, the two organizations will be able to share information about patients.
The Rhode Island Department of Health says it’s currently monitoring several recent arrivals from West Africa to guard against Ebola. But some members of the West African community want the health department to do more.
A union representing thousands of nurses in Rhode Island released the results of a member survey about hospital preparedness on Monday. About 360 members responded. And the union says half said they hadn’t received any formal communications about Ebola preparations from their hospitals. 92 percent said they weren’t sure whether they had – or didn’t have - the proper equipment to protect themselves. But hospitals say they’re doing all they can to keep workers safe.
Note: This estimate includes people not typically counted by national health surveys. The CDC estimates about 3 million Americans are infected but doesn't include people who are incarcerated, on active military duty, or in nursing homes.
Rhode Island State Nurses Association head Donna Policastro said a national nursing organization is encouraging nurses to refuse to care for patients showing signs of Ebola – if they don’t feel their hospitals are adequately prepared. Policastro said this puts nurses in a difficult position.
“Through our code of ethics we take care of everyone," said Policastro. "But nurses need to feel protected. And those two nurses in Dallas serve as symbols of the fact that Dallas Presbyterian wasn’t ready. And they said they were ready.”
The transmission of Ebola to two Texas nurses has raised concern among health care workers nationwide. And there are concerns as well in Rhode Island.
Executive Director of the Rhode Island State Nurses Association, Donna Policastro, says Rhode Island nurses are worried but well prepared for a potential Ebola outbreak. Policastro says the situation in Dallas has given nurses and hospital officials more reason to plan than panic.