Children's Hospital of Philadelphia among hospitals selected to provide care for Ebola patients

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) confirmed Thursday it has been designated as one of several pediatric hospitals in the United States that may be called upon to provide medical care for any child who contracts the Ebola virus.

"The likelihood of an Ebola outbreak in the United States is extremely low, however, if a pediatric patient should need care for Ebola in this country, CHOP is one of the sites that has agreed to provide care," Dr. Julia Shaklee Sammons, Medical Director and Hospital Epidemiologist for CHOP's Department of Infection Prevention and Control, said in a statement.

"It is important for our staff and patient families to know that CHOP is prepared to safely care for a patient with Ebola without compromising care for other patients or protection for our clinical teams," Sammons said.

Officials say CHOP created an "Internal Ebola Task Force" in August that has been intensively planning since then to address all of the processes that are necessary to safely care for a patient while maintaining normal clinical care for other patients.

To date the Task Force has:

  • Instituted a screening protocol to identify at-risk patients in the Emergency Department and through the Ambulatory Care phone triage system;

  • Ensured that proper personal protective equipment (PPE) is available;

  • Continued to employ ongoing staff training on the proper and reliable use of PPE.

  • "The safety of our patients and families, our staff and the community is our main objective as we prepare for what we hope may never occur," said Dr. Sammons.

    "We will be transparent in communicating with our clinical team, all CHOP staff, patient families and the community by providing updates and detailed information as events unfold," she said.
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