Epidemiologists are watching the outbreak of the Ebola virus in West Africa with concern. There is no treatment for this disease, which results in the death of about three-quarters of those who contract it. In the U.S., the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has worked up some resources.
From a CDC Informational Call — you can listen for free or read the transcript (see link below, under “Sources”)
CDC recommends some common-sense precautions in this call:
- Put the patient in isolation in private room with a private bathroom and keep the door closed — an airborne infection isolation room would be ideal
- Keep a log of who goes in the room
- Use disposable or dedicated medical equipment
- Everyone entering the room should were personal protective equipment–double gloving, disposable shoe covers, leg covers
- Everyone should take the personnel protective equipment off carefully
CDC Specific Guidelines for Hospitals
The above guidelines are summarized in chart form here: http://www.cdc.gov/vhf/ebola/hcp/infection-prevention-and-control-recommendations.html#modalIdString_CDCTable_0
Emory has a special unit
Emory University Hospital (Atlanta, Ga.) has a Level 1 infectious diseases containment unit because of proximity to the CDC headquarters. This is where the two health care workers who contracted Ebola in Africa are receiving care.
What happened at Carolinas Medical Center (Charlotte, N.C.)?
In late July 2014, Carolinas Medical Center closed a corridor in the emergency department until hospital officials were sure that a patient presenting with Ebola-like symptoms and a travel history of having been in Africa did not in fact have the disease.
RELATED: How Community Hospital (Munster, IN) successfully handled MERS case
Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) was identified in Saudi Arabia in 2012 and has been expected to make an appearance in the U.S. ever since. The first case here is said to have been identified in April 2014 at Community Hospital in Munster, Ind., near Chicago. A key to the successful treatment and containment in this case was alertness of staff in getting a travel history and then application of the hospital’s tracer-tag system (tags are worn by employees) to see who had been in contact with the patient. The hospital also worked closely with the CDC in the handling of this patient.
[The CDC informational call]. What U.S. Hospitals Need to Know to Prepare for Ebola Virus Disease. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Aug. 5, 2014. Click here for access to these materials: http://emergency.cdc.gov/coca/transcripts/2014/call-transcript-080514.asp
[The Emory story]. How U.S. hospitals are preparing for Ebola: another ED goes into lockdown over an Ebola scare. Daily Briefing, Aug. 4, 2014. Click here for access to this story: http://www.advisory.com/daily-briefing/2014/08/04/how-us-hospitals-are-preparing-for-ebola
[The Carolinas Medical Center story]. An Ebola scare shut down a North Carolina ED: should the U.S. be worried? Daily Briefing. July 31, 2014. Click here for access to this item: http://www.advisory.com/Daily-Briefing/2014/07/31/An-Ebola-scare-shut-down-a-North-Carolina-ED
[MERS at Community Hospital]. Rice, S. Preparation, technology pay off when Middle East virus arrives in the heartland. Modern Healthcare. 44(19):8-9, May, 12, 2014. Click here for access to publisher’s website: www.modernhealthcare.com Posted by AHA Resource Center (312) 422-2050, email@example.com
Filed under: Best practices, Disaster preparedness, Emergency department, Posted by Kim Garber | Tagged: Ebola | Leave a comment »