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UHN has now received our full stock of 3,000 Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) kits. Training sessions continue across our high priority areas (EDs, TWH ICU, security, housekeeping, anaesthesia team, imaging, and respiratory therapists). High priority -meaning that these are areas where a suspected case might arrive or a confirmed case might be treated. All staff in these areas will be provided with training and practice exercises until they feel comfortable in the use of PPE. We anticipate that PPE training will be on-going for a number of months.
We are confident in the PPE chosen for UHN – it was selected because it offers excellent protection and was done in consultation with our point-of-care staff. Understandably, there are many questions about PPE and safety measures around caring for an Ebola patient. We encourage you to bring forward all of your questions and concerns and if we find a better solution or an additional piece of equipment that will offer greater protection, we will source and buy – and then we will train with the new equipment.
As part of our commitment to ensure that we are providing staff with the best equipment and protocols we will be working with
Healthcare Human Factors to test our PPE and some of the other options being considered by other hospitals. We think that this kind of testing will help inform the best practices in donning and doffing PPE as well as identify any areas for improvement. And, what we learn in this process will assist us with our training.
On Friday October 17th, all acute care hospitals in the province received a number of directives from the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care (MOHLTC) regarding Ebola. Many of the directives were already implemented at UHN, as we have been proactively planning since the summer. In response to the directives, we will be introducing basic screening for Ebola in our ambulatory clinics at Toronto Western , Toronto General and Princess Margaret. The MOHLTC directives focus on acute care facilities only and this is where we will direct our immediate attention. Discussions with our TRI teams will occur in the future. We will provide additional information about ambulatory screening in the coming days as we confirm our plans.
We have received positive responses from many UHN health-care workers who have trained in the use of PPE. We will continue to train and start to develop drills on the donning and doffing of PPE. Our priority is staff safety and we can help each other and serve our patients better by focusing on scientific evidence, assessment of risk, commitment to PPE training and the professionalism of all the people at UHN.
Please send questions and concerns to
Senior Vice President
Executive Lead – Ebola Preparedness
Dr. Susy Hota
Medical Co-Lead – Ebola Preparedness
Dr. Jeff Singh
Medical Co-Lead – Ebola Preparedness