Fight against Ebola: Governor Kasich to get look at NE Ohio response

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AKRON- Ohio Governor John Kasich is coming to Northeast Ohio Saturday to get an Ebola response update from CDC doctors and other health officials in Akron.

Amber VinsonIt’s all part of a massive and united effort that’s under way after Amber Vinson’s visit to the Akron-area from Oct. 10-Oct. 13.

The 29-year-old Dallas nurse is being treated for Ebola after caring for the man who died from the virus.

Sixteen people are now being monitored after coming into contact with Vinson; twelve of those are in Summit County and four are in Cuyahoga County.

HOSPITALS PREPARE

Local hospitals are running drills to prepare for potential Ebola patients and joining forces to treat the virus.

MetroHealth Medical Center, University Hospitals, Saint Vincent, and the Cleveland Clinic met with Cleveland Cuyahoga County officials Thursday and Friday to discuss standardization of Ebola protocol and to determine one facility that would handle all local Ebola patients. The facility has not yet been identified.

They’re also each running drills so all front-line responders know how to handle any patient who comes in with the virus.

“We're training the entire emergency department staff because you never know when somebody's going to come in,” said MetroHealth Chairman of Emergency Medicine Dr. Charles Emerman. “We take care of lots of sick people so being prepared for this is something we're ready to do.”

MetroHealth ran its second drill this week Friday morning, with staff members suiting up for a mock cleanup of bodily fluids in the Emergency Room waiting room, as well as a mock transfer of an infected patient to an isolation room.

Signs at the ER entrance direct anyone potentially exposed to the front desk, where medics are trained to ask about travel and exposure history from behind glass.

If there are symptoms of Ebola, staff is directed to contain that patient by moving the person to an isolation room.

Workers are learning how to safely put on and remove personal protective equipment. MetroHealth has three dozen kits that include a full body suit, hood, mask and multiple layers of gloves and booties.

Removal can take a half hour and is done using the body system so health workers don’t miss any steps.

“I think from what we've seen from what's occurred in Texas, these drills are critical,” Emerman said. “You have to have everybody trained to the level they need to for what they're going to be exposed to.”

Emerman said as hospitals learn more about how Ebola is being transmitted they will continue to update procedures.

CLICK HERE FOR CONTINUING COVERAGE ON THE EBOLA VIRUS.