Nurses Union: UC Hospitals Not Ready for Ebola Patients

Members of a large nurses union claim the hospitals recently identified as "priority hospitals" in potential Ebola cases are far from ready to treat such cases.

Thousands of nurses at the five University of California medical centers across the state are now demanding that all hospitals step up in personal protective equipment (PPE) and training.

California Nurses Association/National Nurses United, which represents 12,000 RNs at the five UC medical center, organized "speak out" events in San Francisco and San Diego Tuesday. Nurses in Los Angeles were planning to organize a similar event Wednesday.

Nina Pham and Amber Vinson, two Texas health care workers who were infected while caring for Ebola patient Thomas Clark Duncan, underwent treatment and have been declared virus free.

At UC San Diego Medical Center in Hillcrest, nurses warned that if the potentially deadly virus makes its way to San Diego, residents may be at risk.

"They said the equipment is going to be updated.. as of last week, the PPE equipment that my co-worker shared with me, it left the side of your face and your neck exposed, so they said that equipment is going to be changing," said Michael D Jackson, VP of National Nurses United.

Despite the claims made by nurses, officials at UCSD Medical Center told NBC 7 they are confident with their plan of action in the face of an Ebola patient.

They said the facility is "fully prepared to care for any adult patient who is confirmed to have the Ebola virus, if needed.”

Their statement goes on to say, “The hospital has invested in the appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) necessary to achieve the highest standard of safety for a select team of personnel who are designated to care for patients with the Ebola virus. These customized PPE kits are available to care teams at UC San Diego Health System and are based on the latest, scientifically driven information from the Centers for Disease Control, with additional advice from Emory and Nebraska medical centers.”  

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