Central Ohio Hospitals Conduct Ebola Response Drills

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Local hospitals were conducting drills on Friday to prepare for any patients that could show signs of Ebola.

The workers had to be sanitized and donned boots, gowns, hoods, facemasks, shields – before they sanitize again. After that, they had to put on two sets of gloves.

“It’s very detailed, you have to be very specific and pay a lot of attention,” said Matt Jones, RN.

The ER staff at Grant Medical Center knows they can’t miss a single step.

“To have a nurse come down with it, it hit kind of close to home,” admits Jones.


SPECIAL SECTION: Ebola Outbreak

Jones says Ebola doesn't scare him, but he does see the need to be cautious.

There are no exact requirements for how to suit up, so Ohio Health developed its own protocol.

“We've been able to work with other hospitals to use their best practices along with CDC guidelines and overall medical guidelines,” said Jason Zigmont, Learning Innovation.

The idea is to leave no part of the body exposed. The staff will work in teams, first in a clean room. The extra set of eyes will make sure no one misses anything.

The caretaker then goes into the patient's room. When they're ready to leave, they have to take everything off right there, making sure not to contaminate any part of their body.

Their partner uses a radio to guide them. Bleach wipes are used - gloves and clothing are rolled off carefully.

“I think the main point for us is going to be to take our time and not get too excited like we do here in the emergency department,” said Jones.

Trainers say they are challenging the staff to slow down when they are suiting on and off.

“With the emphasis of doing it away from your body and doing it slow, not being in a hurry, not snapping the gloves, not snapping the mask off,” explains Jones.

That makes sure the virus doesn’t come in contact with the skin before leaving the patient’s room. The slow, methodical process is not what the ER is used to.

“If you're taking the equipment off inappropriately, you can actually contaminate yourself,” said Zigmont.

Trainers say it takes between 7 and 10 minutes to put on or take off the equipment.

Hospital officials say they have conferred with other medical facilities and looked at CDC recommendations to make their protocols.