Western Slope Hospitals Prepare For Ebola

Oct 15, 2014

With Ebola still ravaging West Africa and a cases popping up in Europe and the US, hospitals across the country are having to take a serious look at how they’re prepared.

Scanning electron micrograph of Ebola virus budding from a cell (African green monkey kidney epithelial cell line).
Credit NIAID

"We're really prepared for any emergency that would come in, not just Ebola," says Jeanine Finnell, the Quality Director with Delta County Memorial Hospital.  "With an infectious disease like Ebola, we're just making sure we have all the protective equipment on hand that we may need."

Jeanine says they have several isolation rooms, including some in the emergency room.  Staff there have been drilling for what to do in worse case scenarios.  Emergency Director Misty Sakala says that the more they drill, the more calm they'll be if it does hit the Western Slope.

"Treating someone with an infectious disease in an emergency setting is difficult because they need things very quickly or they could die," she says, "so you're trying to hurry and do what you have to do - fast.  That can cause mistakes, and that's why we do drills."

Jeanine says she has a healthy fear of Ebola, but influenza season is coming up, and the common flu kills about 30 thousand Americans, every year.  She hopes the attention on Ebola will bring more people to get their flu shot.