A joint report by East County Magazine and Reporting San Diego
By Miriam Raftery and Nadin Abbott
October 21, 2014 (La Mesa) – How prepared is East County's major hospital to handle an Ebola patient?
We contacted Grossmont Hospital to find out. Although the risk of this occurring here is considered low by experts, errors in a Dallas hospital's handling of an Ebola patient pointed out the importance of proper planning. Moreover, a survey published last week by National Nurses United revealed that 85 percent of hospitals had reportedly not provided any training for nurses on Ebola and most are short on equipment for handling a patient with the infectious disease that kills 70% of victims.
We sent a detailed list of questions to Sharp Grossmont Hospital’s director of marketing and communications, Bruce Hartman, on topics such as training and protective equipment for healthcare workers, whether patients are asked about their travel histories, and plans for sanitizing areas where an Ebola patient might have been waiting or treated. He responded with this detailed statement, followed by answers to our questions below.
The Hospital's responses include changes in procedures being made to reflect new guidelines just issued by the federal government, such as providing full protective suits with no skin exposed and training in how to safely remove such gear. Below is the full text of Hartman's response: