Memorial Hospital prepping for potential Ebola threat

CHATTANOOGA, Tennessee(WDEF) – Now that an Ebola infection has been detected in the United States, Memorial Hospital says it’s taking steps to deal with the virus should an infected person arrive at the emergency room.

Dr. Mark Anderson is an infectious disease specialist at Memorial Hospital. He says the staff there is already being prepped on screening people for Ebola symptoms.

"We’re educating our people in our emergency room, clinics and intake center to ask the right questions so that if someone comes in, we identify that immediately and take the appropriate precautions,"Dr. Anderson said.

Ebola is transmitted through bodily fluids so if a patients arrives at the emergency room and is suspected of having the deadly virus; a triage nurse will immediately make sure that person is taken to an isolation room within the ER.

"It will be screened off from everyone else so that there’s no traffic in that area. Everyone will then put on protective gear that we’ve already identified. And then as quickly as possible, they’ll be taken to the intensive care unit and placed into an isolation room."

Even if the suspected patient isn’t showing signs of being severely sick, they will still go to an isolation room.

"They could get that sick and once they get here, we don’t want to move them if at all possible."

Memorial says that by taking these safety measures, it will decrease the possibility of repeating a mistake made by Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital.

That hospital never admitted Thomas Eric Duncan after he came in with Ebola symptoms. He returned three days later and was much sicker.

Duncan was then taken into isolation where he tested positive for Ebola.

Categories: Health, Local News

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