Denver Hospitals Taking Precautionary Measures Against Ebola


Posted Mon, Dec 1, 2014

64671_414123671992197_1694870019_nDENVER – Several Denver hospitals have jumped on the preparedness bandwagon are taking necessary precautionary measures to combat the Ebola virus should any cases arise in Colorado.

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment has designated three hospitals to treat any patients displaying Ebola symptoms: Denver Health Medical Center, University of Colorado Hospital and Children’s Hospital Colorado. Each of these hospitals have strict protocols in place for handling any potential Ebola cases.

“Denver Health has a plan and very rigorous protocols in place,” said Kelli Chistensen, spokeswoman for Denver Health. Included in these protocols are designated treatment rooms and care teams, a 24/7 on-call infection control team and rigorous training for all employees in proper use of personal protective equipment (PPE), Christensen said.

Some hospitals throughout the nation have been reported to be staging scenarios in which a patient comes in pretending to have symptoms of Ebola in an effort to test hospital staff preparedness and response. Denver Health has not yet done anything like this, though they are discussing it.

“We have conducted two table top sessions where we walk through a potential patient scenario,” Christensen said. “There is discussion about doing a scenario with a ‘patient’ sometime in the near future.”

CDPHE has mandated the CDC guidance for hospitals, “Ask. Isolate. Call.”, be utilized in all of its hospitals and public health facilities. They are requiring that health care professionals ask patients if they’ve traveled to Africa or had any contact with someone infected with Ebola within the past 21 days.

They are also  in close communication with the Center for Disease Control, national public health organizations and public health agencies in other states in an attempt to monitor any signs of Ebola throughout the nation.

In spite of all of these precautions, the CDC has reported only three confirmed cases of Ebola in the U.S., and the risk of widespread infection remains very low.

“When someone is sick with Ebola, they are likely too sick to be out in public,” Christensen said. “The risk of contamination to the public is extremely low.”

About Aaron Lambert

I am a convergent journalism major in my senior year at MSU Denver. I was born and raised a native here in Colorado, and I currently live in Westminster, CO with my wife and pup. I am an avid lover of music, specifically heavy/extreme metal, and I regularly scribble words about such topics over at the underground metal blog Heavy Blog Is Heavy.

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