Ebola plan in action
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.
Dr Mathias Epee-Bekima wears an infectious disease control suit during the simulation.