Rady Children’s Hospital trains to treat Ebola patients

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SAN DIEGO -- Officials at Rady Children’s Hospital have started training their medical personnel to treat Ebola patients.

“The very first question we’re now asking (patients) is if they’ve had any recent travel to any of the impacted countries,” said Michelle Brenholdt, Emergency Care Center Director at Rady.

If the answer is yes or if a patient believes they may have contracted Ebola “that person is escorted outside with security, and a nurse will come around the ambulance entrance so they’re not around other patients, and we can quickly get them to a very secure space,” Brenholdt said.

Doctors and nurses will then put on personal protective gear to avoid contracting the infectious disease, which is spread through contact with bodily fluids.

“It's impervious, meaning fluids can’t get through it,” said Emergency Room Manager Lisa McDonough. “One of the most important things is also how you take the gear off, so we’re practicing that as well.”

A patient would be taken inside a makeshift seclusion room to be treated for symptoms. Then it’s straight to a second room where the patient is quarantined.

The new protocol comes in response to news that  a Dallas nurse tested positive for the disease over the weekend. She was part of a team treating the first Ebola patient in the U.S., the Liberian man died from complications caused by Ebola.

Medical officials at Rady Children’s Hospital say they will be conducting daily drills to prepare every member of its medical staff to minimize the chances of contracting Ebola when and if the first case arrives.

Officials with Sharp Healthcare have also implemented similar procedures and a kits for their facilities. The kids include fluid proof protective body suits, face masks, goggles, and gloves.

Hospital personnel are being trained on protocol this week according to Sharp medical officials.

UCSD is working to develop Ebola safety protocol for its staff this week.