Published on October 16, 2014

Local hospital 'ready' for possible Ebola cases

Doctors and staff at St. Vincent's Southside says they have isolation rooms ready in case a patient comes to the hospital with a suspected case of Ebola.

Dr. Katherine Considine has been at the hospital for more than 20 years. She says getting the patient treated and preventing any infection from spreading is crucial.

"It's one of the most concerning things we have," she said.

There are several rooms where patients would go. They're near entryways by foot and ambulance. Dr. Considine says that's the place where the chance of any infection spreading is low.

"We wanted to take that extra precaution of having them near the entryways and try to decrease risk to other patients and isolate it totally into these two rooms," she said.

Those rooms also restrict the air flow.

"The air is not mixed with the rest of the emergency department outside of this room." she said.

She says that's another step aimed at keeping the virus from spreading.

There's also a procedure for what the patient and staff wearing inside that room. About 100 protective suits are at the hospital, ready to be used. More are expected to arrive Wednesday. These suits are impermeable. That means nothing can get through the suit from the inside or out.

"We call it reverse isolation, keeping you from spreading it outside," she said.

Brad Turner is the assistant nursing manager of the emergency department at St. Vincent's Southside. With the high mortality rate of Ebola, he says those suits -- along with two layers of gloves, two layers of masks and shoe covers -- are very reassuring.

"With these steps hopefully we can make sure there are no incidents and we can give everyone extra piece of mind," he said.

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