Could a CT hospital handle an Ebola patient? Drills conducted to find out

Dr. Jewel Mullen CT Public Health Commissioner
Dr. Jewel Mullen CT Public Health Commissioner

All Connecticut acute-care hospitals have conducted Ebola preparedness drills, based on an order last week by Gov. Dannel P. Malloy.

Malloy had given hospitals one week to complete the exercise to make sure their procedures were up to standard.

Elements of the drills included functional aspects of caring for a suspected Ebola patient such as screening protocols, methods of isolation, and use and disposal of personal protective equipment. Emergency Medical Service (EMS) teams also participated in the drills.

The state Department of Public Health (DPH) now is reviewing After Action Reports submitted by the hospitals, which will provide feedback on how hospitals can further enhance levels of preparedness.

Testing hospitals’ ability to...

Dr. Jewel Mullen, commissioner of the state Department of Public Health (DPH), said the drills and reports serve an important purpose.

“These drills tested hospitals’ ability to identify, isolate, and treat a suspect patient with Ebola,” Mullen said. “We will continue to work with them to ensure they can identify a patient with Ebola, protect healthcare workers so they can safely care for the patient, and remain coordinated with emergency responders.”

Governor: Being prepared

Malloy said the Thursday announcement that a New York City doctor had tested positive for Ebola “underscores that we’re doing the right things to prepare for a potential case in Connecticut. Making sure our hospitals and first responders are prepared is critical to our efforts.”

The DPH has been working with hospitals for more than a decade through its hospital preparedness program to enhance hospital preparedness “all-hazard scenarios,” including infectious disease outbreaks.

Learn more at the state’s new Ebola website,