Carson Tahoe Health statement on Ebola preparedness
Here is the bulk of an edited statement from Carson Tahoe Health System (CTHS) on Ebola preparedness, which is attributed to Doris Dimmitt, hospital epidemiologist:
“Policies and procedures are already in place to provide safe care to patients with infectious diseases.
“The Ebola crisis has given us the opportunity to reevaluate and step up our preparedness. We are currently initiating extensive retraining of staff in the proper use of personnel protective equipment, which includes gowns, gloves, goggles, masks and respirators, as well as review of isolation protocols. These protocols are already part of our staff annual in-service program; however, we take any opportunity to re-address our processes with staff when needed.
“The Regional Medical Center has 17 airborne isolation rooms with negative air pressure, HEPA filters, and anterooms which may be used safely to house and care for Ebola patients. Our focus currently is on early damnification of suspicious Ebola patients using CDC (Centers for Disease Control) tools for travel and exposure history, isolating the patient as soon as possible, and assuring our staff and physicians have the tools and training to safely provide care.
“This includes all our facilities where patients are seen for acute care, including the ER (emergency room), Minden Emergent care, the Carson and Dayton Urgent care clinics, and the Wal-Mart clincs in Carson City and Gardnerville.
“We are working closely with the Carson City Health Department and EMS (emergency) providers to coordinate patient transports when needed. The CDC announced it plans on sending a specially trained team to any hospital with an Ebola case to coordinate the care and assure safety. The CDC Ebola information regarding safety and patient care is being updated almost daily. These updates are sent directly to cell phones and e-mails of designated CTH staff who are keeping a very close eye on changes, and will be adapting our processes accordingly. We do not anticipate, at this time, seeing an Ebola patient at CTHS, but we need to assure we are prepared to safely care for any infectious patient and deal with any epidemic whenever the challenge is presented.”