UVM Medical Center practices for Ebola scenario

Wednesday, June 19, 2019
By Paul Martin

By Ellie French
Jun 18 2019

UVM Medical Center told media Tuesday not to be worried if they heard about a Vermont patient with Ebola — as the “patient” in question was just part of a drill to test the region’s response to infectious disease.

Doctors at UVM spent the day doing a “full-scale” exercise to practice what would happen if someone in the state presented with symptoms of Ebola, or another ‘high consequence infectious disease.”

The drill began when the patient checked in at Central Vermont Medical Center in Berlin, which UVM calls a “front-line hospital,” with classic symptoms of Ebola — fever, headaches, vomiting and diarrhea. There, the patient was put into isolation, as the calls went out to get the region-wide Ebola response team in action.

“Ebola is something we’ve been preparing for since the Ebola scare a few years ago,” said Michelle Greeson, a nurse on the patient’s transport team. “There was a really good vibe at the hospital as we were getting ready for this drill.”

Doctors put on full PPE, or personal protective equipment, as they transported the patient to Burlington, which is an “assessment hospital,” where Greeson said hundreds of people were involved in getting the patient assessed and tested for Ebola in a safe, secure manner.

“Ebola is in a whole other category with how contagious it is,” Greeson said. “How it can spread so easily puts a whole lot of challenges in treating patients in close contact.”

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