Anyone who presents with symptoms and have had recent travel to pertinent areas outside the U.S. will be isolated down in the ER until transportation can be arranged to Emory. Where in the ER, I don't know. But we do have a contamination/decontamination unit near the ER. We were required to don the dress with the thicker footed gowns with a separate pair of slipper boots, all over a disposable set of scrubs
, N-95 mask, with goggles, and a cap that goes over the hooded/footed gown. Taking it all off required as much if not more precision as preparing for a procedure using sterile techniques, being very careful not to touch the outside. All jewelry had to be removed to prevent breaking the integrity of the 'get-up'. Talk about hot!!!!!!! And this is coming from a person that carries a sweater in the car during summer months!
Now, the following statement is going to come off as insensitive and cold-hearted, but it is truly not intended that way. If there is absolutely NO other area to place these individuals until they can be appropriately transferred (ALL
of our isolation/negative pressure units are located above the third floor within public areas and there are only two per floor), there is the morgue or the area very near it at our hospital only because it is a low-to-no traffic area where dedicated staff members only would be assigned to care for these individuals.
My thought is that these people must be removed from general population as quickly as possible. Even our basement is busy because it houses the environmental services department and the pharmacy, not to mention central supply, engineering, and other 'behind-the-scenes' operations. The morgue sits off to itself, and this would be a temporary solution away from the general public. I know of a critical access, one-story facility that has no true isolation room and has to refer patients in need to other facilities. But they do have a morgue.....until the receiving facility accepts the patient and transportation can be arranged. After all, in a true outbreak, though I don't know what structure of Emory is like, it could be a while before these people can be placed, based on census at the receiving hospital. Just my thoughts on the matter....