Texas County Memorial Hospital says it has prepared for Ebola should the disease surface in the community.
According to Wes Murray, chief executive officer at TCMH, the hospital has reviewed all protocols to insure that they follow Ebola guidelines set by the Centers for Disease Control. As of Oct. 19, the CDC has attributed 4,555 deaths to the Ebola epidemic that has affected multiple countries in West Africa and been confirmed in the United States.
“Our hospital is focused on providing safe, quality patient care in an environment that protects our patients and our caregivers,” Murray said. “Since this disease surfaced in the U.S., we have been working with all of our hospital departments to update and plans and protocols to protect everyone.”
Ebola, previously known as Ebola hemorrhagic fever, is a rare and deadly disease caused by infection with one of the Ebola virus strains. Ebola can cause disease in humans and nonhuman primates (monkeys, gorillas, and chimpanzees). CDC confirmed on Sept. 30, the first laboratory-confirmed case of Ebola to be diagnosed in the United States in a person who had traveled to Dallas, Texas, from West Africa.
In addition to reviewing hospital protocols, TCMH has increased the inventory of personal protective equipment and refresher sessions on the use of personal protective equipment have been completed with the hospital staff.
Department managers have also participated in briefings by the CDC, Missouri Hospital Association and Texas County Health Department.
“We want to protect our patients, our staff and our community if there’s any possibility of an Ebola care in our area,” Murray said.
When they arrive at TCMH –– at both the hospital and clinics –– patients are asked the following questions:
- In the last 21 days have you, a member of your family or any visitors to your home been to Africa?
- If “yes” to question one, please answer if you have any of the following symptoms: fever, headache, diarrhea, vomiting, stomach pain, unexplained bleeding or bruising or muscle pain?
TCMH says if someone may have been exposed to a potential source of Ebola, they contact the nearest hospital emergency department.
The Centers for Disease Control is the national authority on Ebola. Get current information about Ebola at www.cdc.gov/vhf/ebola/