Tags: Ebola Outbreak | Hospitals | Ebola patients | Emory | treating

Hospitals Strained Treating Ebola Patients

By    |   Tuesday, 14 October 2014 09:07 AM

Hospitals that are not specifically equipped to treat Ebola will face a number of difficult challenges should they begin treating cases, which even the specialized hospitals have struggled to deal with, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Infectious disease specialists at the hospitals in Atlanta and Omaha that have treated Ebola victims have found it takes money, space, and extreme vigilance to prevent staff and suppliers from getting infected.

In addition, hospitals have to carefully handle relationships with contractors that are wary of transporting blood samples, laundry, and hospital waste out of fear of being exposed to the deadly disease, the Journal reported.

"The people at Emory has been training for, get this, 12 years," Trish Perl, professor of medicine and a senior epidemiologist at Johns Hopkins Health system in Baltimore, told the Journal. "They have teams that are well-formed and well-developed."

But other hospitals have only just started training for the Ebola threat, making the learning curve much more steep, ABC News reported.

Cost has become one of the biggest issues for hospitals that have treated patients with Ebola. At Emory, for example, a total of 26 medical staff were employed to take care of American missionary Kent Brantly, who returned to the country with the infection.

And medical professionals had to be monitored twice a day for three weeks following interaction with the patient, according to the Journal.

Meanwhile, the hospitals were forced to go to great lengths to disinfect all waste before it was discharged into sewers. For medical waste, such as used linens, suppliers have insisted that the Emory hospital certify that sealed bags did not contain any live virus. This required sterilization of 350 bags of medical waste, weighing 3,000 pounds, the Journal reported.

The hospitals will not be able to recover the money they have spent on treating patients.

"We learned that caring for patients with Ebola virus disease is extraordinarily expensive," said Dr. Bruce Ribner, director of the Infectious Disease Unit at Emory University Hospital.

Dr. Tom Frieden, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said Monday that hospitals need more training and prevention techniques for dealing with Ebola.

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Hospitals that are not specifically equipped to treat Ebola will face a number of difficult challenges should they begin treating cases, which even the specialized hospitals have struggled to deal with, according to The Wall Street Journal.
Hospitals, Ebola patients, Emory, treating
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2014-07-14
Tuesday, 14 October 2014 09:07 AM
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