Ebola

OU Medical Center screens all patients for potential infectious disease signs and symptoms, including Ebola. Our medical professionals have been specially trained to prepare for the possibility of Ebola, and are fully staffed to evaluate all patients and their needs. OU Medical Center has the training, processes, facilities and equipment in place to keep our patients and staff safe. We are working in close contact with the CDC, the Oklahoma State Department of Health and other health care entities to safely address this public health concern.

Standard precautions advised by the CDC are rigorously followed by OU Medical Center for treating patients with infectious diseases and have proven effective for protecting our patients and staff. In addition, OU Medical Center has specific practices to help identify and manage potential cases. We screen all patients and are activating this protocol when clinically necessary:

  • Every patient is screened immediately to better understand his/her travel habits within the past four weeks. 

  • Patients exhibiting symptoms and who have recently traveled to affected areas are immediately isolated in a negative pressure isolation room.

  • Caregivers use personal protective equipment, including masks, gloves, impermeable gowns and goggles/face shields as advised by the CDC and World Health Organization.

  • Rigorous use of effective disinfection practices for equipment, supplies and other material is used in providing care for the patient.

  • The minimal number of caregivers is selected and only those come in contact with the patient.

  • State and federal health agencies are immediately notified. These agencies then determine appropriate testing.  

In addition to the CDC guidelines, OU Medical Center would use the same precautions we use in the treatment of patients with airborne illnesses, such as TB, while caring for an Ebola patient or someone doctors believe could have Ebola. Those precautions include isolating the patient in negative airflow rooms and having our staff use protective respirator masks such as an N95, which filters out smaller particles.

We also are reinforcing the proper use and removal of personal protective equipment through a demonstrational video and training. We are conducting exercises to ensure complete understanding of appropriate protocols.

To learn more about Ebola, visit the CDC's website and the Oklahoma State Department of Health website.