The staff of the Yadkin County Medical Clinic recently participated in a training regarding Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) which would be used in cases of highly infectious diseases such as Ebola.
Though the major outbreak of Ebola in west Africa is now under control and chances of having a patient in the United States with the disease is unlikely, Jessica Wall, assistant director of Yadkin County Human Services, said the training is still beneficial for the staff. The use of PPE could come in to play should any other highly contagious blood-borne illness be suspected in a patient.
During the training, James Collins, Emergency Services operations manager, went over the basics of Ebola and how it is transmitted.
The use of PPE was stressed, but even more so than using the protective suits, the training focused on the proper way to don and doff the equipment to ensure no blood or other possibly infected bodily fluids would be transmitted to the wearer. The process involves wearing masks, protective suits, multiple sets of protective gloves and washing gloved hands multiple times throughout the doffing process. A supervisor also would be present to ensure medical personnel are properly donning and doffing the protective gear.
Other infectious disease precautions were discussed in the training such as what to do if a patient were to arrive at the clinic showing signs of having a highly contagious illness.
The Zika virus was mentioned briefly during the training, a vector-borne illness which has been reported in other countries. Asking a patient if they have traveled to an area where a highly infectious disease such as Ebola or Zika is common is another precaution Collins told the medical staff was important.
“It’s better to be prepared than scared,” Collins told the staff.
Kitsey Burns Harrison may be reached at 336-679-2341 or on Twitter @RippleReporterK.