[Henry Mayo Hospital] – The world is experiencing a serious outbreak of Ebola in African countries and it has migrated to the U.S., with the first case diagnosed in a hospital in Dallas, Texas. Our facility is ramping up our preparedness to ensure everyone in our facility and our community is knowledgeable about how to detect, protect and respond to a case of Ebola in our facility and in our community.
The HMNH Communicable Disease Outbreak Team has reviewed the Centers for Disease Hospital Ebola preparedness checklist and developed a number of follow up items to ensure everyone in our facility is knowledgeable and prepared to protect themselves and care for patients with Ebola. The same principals of infection prevention and control we use daily are used to manage Ebola.
Following is a brief list of actions being implemented to ready us for Ebola:
. Mandatory education in Health Stream for all HMNH employees, volunteers and contract staff
. Customized education programs for ED, EVS, VSRs, and Security
. Confirmation of inventories of personal protective equipment (PPE) in all patient care areas
. HW Infection Control policy for Ebola
. Custom poster for putting on and taking off PPE with a buddy system and a special isolation supply cart
. Monitoring staff putting on and taking off PPE
. Coordination with LA County Fire and Emergency Medical Services transport companies for movement of potential Ebola patients into the ED
. Access procedures to minimize exposure of others in the ED and transport within the hospital
. Coordination with LA County Dept of Public Health collection and transport of Ebola specimens
. Review of environmental cleaning procedures and waste management
. Signage in multiple areas
. Restriction of visitors for Ebola patients
. Educational materials for the staff and the community
. Coordination of preparation with the Medical Director of Infection Control
. Communication to medical staff about HMNH preparedness
. Conducting a hospital-wide functional exercise with LA County Fire and AMR transporting a mannequin to simulate a suspect Ebola patient. The exercise will evaluate our procedures for triage, isolation, specimen collections, notification to LA County Public Health, and transfer to inpatient status.
WHAT IS EBOLA?
Ebola, previously known as Ebola hemorrhagic fever, is a rare disease with a high fatality rate in West Africa, caused by an infection with one of the Ebola virus strains. Ebola can cause disease in humans and nonhuman primates (monkeys, gorillas, and chimpanzees), and fruit bats may be involved in the transmission.
WHO IS AT RISK OF EXPOSURE TO EBOLA?
As of Sept.30, 2014 only one case has been diagnosed in the US. Healthcare providers caring for Ebola patients and the family and friends in close contact with Ebola infected patients are at the highest risk of getting sick because they may come in contact with the blood or body fluids of sick patients. People also can become sick with Ebola after coming in contact with infected wildlife/bushmeat in Africa.
WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF EBOLA?
Fever (greater than 38.6°C or 101.5°F), severe headache, muscle pain, weakness, diarrhea vomiting, abdominal (stomach) pain, and later, unexplained hemorrhage (bleeding or bruising), symptoms may appear anywhere from 2 to 21 days after exposure to Ebola, but the average range is 8 to 10 days.
HOW IS EBOLA TRANSMITTED?
Ebola is spread through direct contact (through broken skin or mucous membranes) with blood or body fluids (including but not limited to urine, saliva, feces, vomit, and semen) of a person who is sick with Ebola and or objects (like needles and syringes) that have been contaminated with the virus infected animals. Ebola is not spread through the air or by water, or in general, food. However, in Africa, Ebola may be spread as a result of handling bushmeat (wild animals hunted for food) and contact with infected bats. Healthcare providers caring for Ebola patients and the family and friends in close contact with Ebola patients are at the highest risk of getting sick because they may come in contact with infected blood or body fluids of sick patients.
HOW TO PREVENT EXPOSURE TO EBOLA?
. Practice careful hygiene. Avoid contact with blood and body fluids.
. Do not handle items that may have come in contact with an infected person’s blood or body fluids.
. Avoid funeral or burial rituals that require handling the body of someone who has died from Ebola.
. Avoid contact with bats and nonhuman primates or blood, fluids, and raw meat from these animals.
. Avoid hospitals where Ebola patients are being treated.
. Minimize exposure to travel and persons who have traveled to areas of an outbreak with Ebola in West Africa Countries (Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Nigeria and Senegal)
. After you return from areas of Ebola outbreak in West Africa monitor your health for 21 days and seek medical care immediately if you develop symptoms of Ebola.
WHAT HENRY MAYO IS DOING