October 22, 2014 7:04 pm

Health care workers practice Ebola response

Health care workers are practicing what it would be like if a suspected case of Ebola arrives in Saskatchewan.

Kim Smith/ Global News
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REGINA – Health care workers are practicing what it would be like if a suspected case of Ebola arrives in Saskatchewan.

Nurses, doctors and other professionals participated in an Ebola drill Wednesday that began at a downtown health clinic and concluded at the Regina General Hospital.

“This is really about learning. It’s about identifying what’s working well for us in each of the areas, and then to identify what did not go as well,” said Dr. Tania Diener, the RQHR medical health officer.

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The patient arrived at the emergency department and was brought to an isolated room before being transported to the ICU for treatment in a designated area.

Health officials said the exercise went well but they also found areas to improve.

“One of the examples might be some of the cleaning parts, equipment cleaning. Vomit seems to be getting into all little crevices,” said Diener.

“We probably will move to having a three person team for the ambulance and one person never putting on protective equipment in the first place,” said Dr. Jessica Minion, an RQHR medical microbiologist. She said that ensures the driver can stay out of contact and avoid contamination.

The Regina Qu’Appelle Health Region says its been working on this worse case scenario since August and says it does have the necessary equipment.

“We currently do have what is recommended nationally in Canada but guidelines do continue to evolve. And as we learn new things we’re bringing in more pieces of equipment,” said Minion.

The Saskatchewan Union of Nurses says it’s encouraged by the simulated event but says it remains concerned that workers are not well prepared. SUN president Tracy Zambory says workers should be using a higher level of personal equipment, such as a hazmat suit.

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