EMSA Ambulance Equipped To Treat Ebola Patients

Friday, January 23rd 2015, 4:42 pm
By: News 9

This week, the state's new bio-containment unit opened at OU Med where a patient could be treated.

News 9 learned there is also one special ambulance that would transport any possible patients.

“It is encapsulated with a thick, plastic sheeting where we have sealed all the seams to keep everything contained into one general spot,” said Brian Bottom, EMSA Clinical Services Coordinator.

The ambulance would only be activated for an Ebola case. It has a designated crew that received special training and EMSA upgraded its personal protective equipment for the crew.

“We have taken the information from health and safety experts throughout the United States, combined a lot of the good ideas and placed them into one where we have implemented this unit here,” Bottom added.

The ambulance would transport an infected patient to the newly-completed Oklahoma Bio-Containment Care Unit on the OU Medical campus in Oklahoma City. All the protective sheeting in the ambulance would then be thrown out.

1/21/15 Related Story: Oklahoma Health Officials Unveil Infectious Disease Unit

“This would be taken apart systematically, disposed of appropriately and then we would start from scratch after we sanitized the unit,” Bottom told News 9.

The Oklahoma State Department of Health has monitored 17 people for Ebola so far and wants to make sure emergency responders are prepared if a case ever actually arises.

“Being informed, being educated on a specific disease heightens your sense of awareness and ensures everyone goes home safe at the end of the day,” Bottom said.

EMSA has been part of the simulated drills and ongoing training with the volunteer staff at the bio-containment care unit.