We at New York Methodist Hospital are doing everything possible to achieve the goal of ensuring the safety of our staff, our patients, and our neighbors, while maintaining our ability to provide excellent care to our community.
Here are some facts about Ebola and about what we at New York Methodist are doing to maintain safety:
· Ebola is a virus that has serious health consequences. However, it is not, as is rumored, 100 percent fatal. All Americans who have contracted the disease have survived.
· Ebola is very difficult to contract. It can only be transmitted via contact with blood and other bodily fluids of a person who is sick with Ebola. It cannot be “caught” via the air, as many upper respiratory viral illnesses, such as the flu, can. If you do not come into contact with blood or other bodily fluids of a person actually very sick with Ebola, you are at practically zero risk of contracting it. (Out of the hundreds of family and health care workers who came into close contact with Mr. Duncan in Texas, only two nurses, who took care of him in the critical care unit just before he died, developed an Ebola infection and both of them are now doing well and are Ebola free. )
· At NYM, we are prepared. We are working in conjunction with the New York City and New York State Department of Health and are following their guidelines to the letter.
· All registrars at all hospital related facilities; the main campus, the clinics, and off sites, have been trained to ask specific screening questions. All patients presenting to hospital facilities are asked if they have traveled to West Africa or have come into contact with persons who have been confirmed ill with Ebola, and if they have symptoms that can be attributed to Ebola. If the screening is positive, these patients will be isolated and the New York Department of Health will be called immediately.
· We have no plans to admit any high risk patients arriving to our facilities. As per the Department of Health, they will be isolated in place and then EMS will pick them up and take them directly to one of the eight state designated hospitals.
· Specific physician and nurses in the Emergency Department have been fully trained on the use of personal protective equipment. Environmental personnel will be trained as well. We are confident that we are doing everything possible to achieve our goal.
Employees who are planning to visit a country in West Africa are asked to give the Hospital the courtesy of advising us on your departure and on your return.
If you have any questions relating to Ebola, please call the office of Medical Affairs at 718 780-3284 or, in an emergency, call the Emergency Department at 718 780-5555.