After an Ebola scare, Salem Hospital says it's prepared to deal - KPTV - FOX 12

After an Ebola scare, Salem Hospital says it's prepared to deal with the virus

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An Ebola scare at Salem Hospital put things into perspective for hospital officials.

On Thursday, hospital leaders spoke about what worked on Wednesday and what needs to be improved.

The hospital said it has been preparing for these type of situations for some time and follows all the Centers for Disease Control guidelines.

The Ebola scare happened on Wednesday at Salem Hospital, after a woman who had just returned from Africa thought she might be infected with the virus. The woman had contacted the hospital, which gave them time to prepare for her arrival.

The woman was told to wait in her car until officials, dressed in protective gear, could get to her and bring her into the decontamination center of the emergency department.

The hospital said there are steps they go through with a patient, who might have any type of infectious disease, when they're brought in.

In Wednesday's scare, doctors said after asking the patient specific questions and talking with the CDC, they determined the woman was not at risk for Ebola and no blood test was given.

“It's very challenging and that's why the case really is 'where have you been in the last three weeks in the world? And have you been exposed?' That's really why it spins off that and not specifically on what are your symptoms,” said Cort Garrison, the interim chief medical officer at Salem Hospital.

One of the first emergency department nurses who handled Wednesday's patient said he was prepared and knew what steps to take.

“From my perspective this was what we're trained to do. We're in the emergency department and we take what comes our way. We've got to be prepared with whatever comes through the door. All throughout nursing school it was drilled into my head, personal protective equipment, personal protective equipment and follow the CDC guidelines,” said Andy Stipe, a staff nurse in the emergency department, who helped treat the patient with Ebola-like symptoms.

Salem Hospital said there is always more to learn as well as constantly staying up to date on the CDC guidelines which are constantly changing.

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