​​​Dear Colleagues,

We wanted to let you know that the Ebola Steering Committee is continuing to work on UHN's readiness with regard to keeping our staff safe while providing care to someone diagnosed with Ebola.  In saying this, we underline the fact that there has been no case of Ebola in Canada to this point in time but that the work that we have done and continue to do is necessary in case we do receive a case.  Below is the link to our Ebola Readiness page on UHN's intranet which contains all of our documents and information about this process.

http://intranet.uhn.ca/departments/infection_control/ebola_preparedness.asp

We want to draw your attention to the manual which we posted today with all the information we have about our procedures.  It is the first link on the page - EVD Manual – which takes you to the UHN Ebola Preparedness Plan.  Please note the manual will be a work in progress with updates made as our plans and practices continue to evolve which includes our implementation of the Ministry's directives.

We have updated the Q&A document to reflect the questions which have come forward in the past few weeks.  Some of the things we'd like to highlight in this Ebola Straight Talk:

  • Training in the use of PPE and the drilling for the use of PPE is focused on the areas at UHN where someone with Ebola might arrive or in the areas of the hospital where we would care for someone with Ebola.  These areas are the Emergency Departments, the Toronto Western ICU, staff in our laboratories who would handle specimens, staff in our imaging department who might be asked to provide imaging to a patient and other individuals such as respiratory therapists and anesthesiology.  Everyone is welcome to train – but it is important that our emphasis is on the people who would be asked to care for a person with Ebola.

  • The evaluation of various PPE by Health Human Factors continues.  The first evaluation was done on the PPE which UHN will be using and this PPE worked very well with no contamination in the donning and doffing as demonstrated by the use of glo germ.  The testing was done in a simulated clinical setting while performing simulated clinical tasks.

  • UHN has acquired and packaged sufficient PPE to provide safety to staff working with Ebola patients for many weeks.

  • The care provided to a suspected or confirmed case will be done in teams where the team members have all been well trained, drilled, deemed competent with PPE as well as the specialized precautions required in providing care for an Ebola patient and this is documented.  In addition, we are finalizing the description of what the trained observer would do and how they would function during the care of a suspected or confirmed case.

  • Directives from the Ministry of Health and Long Term Care continue to come to the hospitals.  These will be posted on our Ebola Preparedness website and UHN is committed to meeting and exceeding the directives. These may drive changes to our processes and practices which is why our plans and documents are updated on a regular basis. Please always ensure you are looking at the most recent posted document on any topic related to Ebola

That's our update and please send along questions to EbolaQuestions@uhn.ca

 

Kathy Sabo                         Susy Hota                            Jeff Singh

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