UW Medicine joins state roster of Ebola-prepared hospitals

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UW Medicine joins state roster of Ebola-prepared hospitals

Slideshow: Harborview conducts Ebola patient simulation
Brian Donohue

Two additional UW Medicine hospitals have joined Harborview Medical Center in adopting infection-control protocols necessary to care for prospective Ebola patients.  


Ebola-gloves
Clare McLean
Deb Metter, critical care nurse specialist and lead of Harborview's Ebola quarantine training, helps a nurse put on gloves during the exercise. (Click to enlarge.)
Deb Metter, critical care nurse specialist and lead of Harborview's Ebola quarantine training, helps a nurse put on gloves during the exercise.

UW Medical Center and Valley Medical Center are among several facilities statewide that will use guidelines established by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to identify, isolate, evaluate and treat patients with suspected or confirmed Ebola virus disease, the Washington Department of Health announced today.

“The chance of a confirmed case of Ebola in Washington is very low, but in the event it happens we want to be sure we have the capacity to provide ongoing care to a patient,” said Dr. Kathy Lofy, state health officer. “Patients with Ebola can become critically ill and require intensive care therapy. Care needs to be delivered using strict infection-control practices.

The other facilities:

  • Harrison Medical Center, Bremerton (CHI Franciscan Health)
  • MultiCare Tacoma General Hospital
  • Providence Regional Medical Center, Everett
  • Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center and Children’s Hospital, Spokane
  • Seattle Children’s
  • Swedish Medical Center, Issaquah
  • Virginia Mason Hospital, Seattle

The threat of exposure to the Ebola virus remains low. Anyone arriving in Seattle from West Africa has passed through airports that assess risk. Public health will perform temperature and symptom monitoring of potentially exposed individuals during the 21 day incubation period. Because individuals are not infectious until they develop symptoms, active monitoring for symptoms will rapidly identify anyone who has contracted Ebola and allow isolation before he or she is able to infect someone else with the virus. In the event a case is confirmed the CDC will send a team to assist the hospitals in providing care safely and effectively.