Ebola plan in ac­tion

Western Suburbs Weekly - - Front Page - By EMILY BAKER

AN Ebola Virus Dis­ease (EVD) sim­u­la­tion was staged at King Ed­ward Me­mo­rial Hos­pi­tal (KEMH) ear­lier this month.

The train­ing ex­er­cise in­volved clin­i­cal and non-clin­i­cal staff from all ar­eas of the hos­pi­tal, in­clud­ing doc­tors and midwives, as well as ad­min­is­tra­tion, clean­ing and se­cu­rity staff, sim­u­lat­ing what would be re­quired in an emer­gency sit­u­a­tion.

KEMH emer­gency man­age­ment unit manager Richard John­son said that while the risk re­mained very low, it was im­por­tant to take pre­cau­tion­ary mea­sures for any in­ci­dent that may oc­cur.

“It is im­por­tant to en­sure all the sys­tems are work­ing and that the plans are well de­vel­oped,” he said. “Train­ing ex­er­cises also pro­vide an op­por­tu­nity to ed­u­cate staff and prac­tise the com­mu­ni­ca­tion as­pects in a sim­u­la­tion sce­nario, as well as in­crease aware­ness among staff of the hos­pi­tal’s emer­gency plans and pro­ce­dures.

“The plans and pro­ce­dures have been de­vel­oped in a board­room, so by do­ing the sim­u­la­tions, you en­sure that what was de­vel­oped will work and you can iden­tify gaps in the sys­tem.” Mr John­son said there was ev­i­dence of sim­u­la­tions be­ing ef­fec­tive based on the suc­cess­ful evac­u­a­tion of KEMH dur­ing a fire in 2010. “A great ex­am­ple, which demon­strates that sim­u­la­tion ex­er­cises work, is the 2010 KEMH fire, which re­sulted in the whole of the main hos­pi­tal be­ing evac­u­ated; sim­u­la­tion train­ing pre­pared staff for the evac­u­a­tion of preg­nant women, non-am­bu­lant pa­tients, ven­ti­lated ba­bies, in­fants, vis­i­tors, pa­tients in labour and staff,” Mr John­son said.

“With­out the train­ing drills, the evac­u­a­tion may not have gone as well as it did, with no in­juries.

“Staff com­mented to me at the debrief that the evac­u­a­tion was just like do­ing one of the fire drills, ex­cept for the smoke.”

Along with KEMH, all other WA Health staff have been un­der­tak­ing ad­di­tional train­ing, such as th­ese ex­er­cises, to en­sure the con­tin­ued safety of them­selves and fel­low pa­tients.

There have been no cases of ebola in Australia and the risk re­mains very low.

Pic­ture: An­drew Ritchie www.com­mu­ni­typix.com.au d434862

Dr Mathias Epee-Bekima wears an in­fec­tious dis­ease con­trol suit dur­ing the sim­u­la­tion.

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