Ebola Update

Posted on Jan 5, 2015 in Infection Prevention | 0 comments

Preparations for the arrival here of a patient suspected of having Ebola virus disease are part of greater planning efforts Sutterwide and more generally in coordination with public health authorities at the local, state and federal levels. Our efforts here at Summit fall into two categories, policies and equipment.

A bi-campus Ebola Steering Committee, including physicians and representatives of the hospital, has formed and met to guide activities, as has a physician-specific task-force. The major areas of organizational effort are:

  • Hospitals nationwide will be in one of three tiers: front line, assessment and treatment. Locally, if current plans play out, UCSF and Oakland’s Kaiser will be the treatment facilities. Summit will be in the front line, that is, where a patient who on presentation meets criteria as a “person under investigation” for Ebola will be isolated, and from which the patient will be transported to an assessment facility, that is, where the patient will reside for the anticipated 3-5 days needed to confirm or exclude the diagnosis of Ebola. (Planning is underway for Alta Bates to be an assessment facility, but the authority for that decision is the public health sector’s, not the hospital’s or Sutter’s, and the decision is at the time of this writing pending.) The ultimate site for management of a patient confirmed to have Ebola will be a treatment facility.
  • Policies are in a state of refinement, materials and equipment are being obtained and updated, and training (and confirmatory drills) are proceeding to accommodate the isolation, initial management, and subsequent transport of the suspected patient, regardless where the patient presents (ER, registration, etc.).

By Roger Phelps, M.D. and Merrilee Newton, R.N.



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