Ebola preparedness update
Oct 22, 2014
Pullman Regional Hospital’s commitment to infection prevention
As we recognize National Infection Prevention Week, Pullman Regional Hospital is taking an opportunity to share its precautions and preparedness measures that we are taking in the unlikely event a patient with Ebola is identified. We are committed to continuously keeping our patients and staff safe.
As healthcare workers in a community hospital serving an international student population with two major universities in the region, we regularly practice isolation precautions with infectious diseases and have responded to disease outbreaks, such as the 2009 H1N1 influenza virus. Recently with the international Ebola outbreak, our healthcare providers have been training on proper infection control techniques and our equipment needs have been assessed.
Pullman Regional Hospital healthcare providers are screening patients presenting with symptoms of fever, muscle pain, headache, malaise, and inquiring whether they have recently traveled from a West African country.
Staff training is being reinforced for the proper ‘donning and doffing’ of enhanced personal protective equipment with a two person buddy system to monitor proper technique. We are following the latest guidelines issued by the Centers for Disease Control which includes complete coverage of the skin and using an N95 respiratory mask.
If a patient is suspected to have Ebola, he or she will be isolated in a specialized room of the Emergency Department where a specialist in Emergency Medicine will evaluate and, if necessary, order tests in consultation with the Whitman County Department of Public Health, the Washington State Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Patients and visitors will remain in a safe environment in the hospital with no risk of exposure.