Columbia hospital prepared for possible Ebola outbreak - DatelineCarolina

Columbia hospital prepared for possible Ebola outbreak

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Palmetto Health is equipped with two quarantine rooms to treat Ebola patients. Palmetto Health is equipped with two quarantine rooms to treat Ebola patients.
Nurses and doctors must dress in full hazmat suits when taking care of Ebola patients in the quarantine room. Nurses and doctors must dress in full hazmat suits when taking care of Ebola patients in the quarantine room.

 By: Will Tilley

Ebola hasn't made its way to the Midlands, but Palmetto Health Hospital is preparing to handle isolating people who may have been in contact with the deadly virus if it should come.

Palmetto Health is one of four hospitals in South Carolina to provide care for suspected Ebola patients. The hospital has two quarantine rooms ready to go.

Doctors and nurses have been supplied with Hazmat suits with training on how to completely cover the body and ensure that they don't put themselves at risk of becoming infected.

There is also a transportation pod available to bring Ebola patients safely to the isolation unit inside the hospital without exposing any other patients.

Doctor Steve Shelton says that he believes the risk of an Ebola outbreak is a very low.

"There's loads of fear out there and we understand that, because it's a new disease," Shelton says. "However, this disease is not very strong once it is outside of the body."

Dr. Shelton says the process for taking care of Ebola patients once they get to Palmetto Health is very safe and careful.

"You'll notice there's a line on the floor and the door will be closed to separate that area, so once we get a patient in here the nurse will provide care within this area," Shelton says.

The most dangerous part of the process is taking the hazmat suits off, when doctors say two Dallas nurses who contracted Ebola were exposed.

 

 

 

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