Are we prepared for Ebola?

Hospitals reviewing Ebola guidelines and protocol
An Ebola fact sheet. (Source: CDC)
An Ebola fact sheet. (Source: CDC)

If someone walked into a Cleveland hospital, with the symptoms of Ebola, could they handle it?

Doctor Frank Esper with University Hospitals says yes.

"We are ready from a standpoint of what to do with the patient, how to treat the patient, how to deal with healthcare workers, how to deal with the family, how to deal with the waste from infectious waste from the patient," Dr. Esper said.

19 Action News visited University Hospital's Emergency Room for a tour of how things would work should a potential Ebola patient come in for a visit.

"Where do you put them and how do you contain them?" asked reporter Dan DeRoos.

"We put them in one of our decontamination rooms," Dr. Esper replied.

Before they even make it to the decontamination room, if they're brought in by ambulance there's a separate entrance they would bring the suspected patient in. Once in the decontamination room, they'd be washed down where even the water drains to special tanks to be treated later, then wheeled into an isolated treatment room.

Then the decontamination room is depressurized, the air sucked from the room into vents with special filters.

All staff would be covered in gowns, gloves, masks, and face shields.

Our next question: Would the patient remain in Cleveland?

"They can be treated here, whether they will be treated here may be a larger discussion for both the Cuyahoga County Health Department the State Health Agencies as well as the Federal," said Dr. Esper.

This is not just University Hospitals, all hospitals are required to have infectious disease containment plans.

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