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Ebola drill to test readiness of A&E Department (with photos/video)

The following is issued on behalf of the Hospital Authority:

     The Hospital Authority (HA) has conducted an exercise in the Accident & Emergency Department (AED) of Pok Oi Hospital (POH) to test the workflow and measures in handling walk-in patients suspected of Ebola virus disease (EVD), including the transfer arrangement, infection control measures, clinical procedures and psychological support for front-line staff.

     The exercise, which was conducted yesterday (December 11), simulated a walk-in patient attended POH AED with fever, vomiting and diarrhea symptoms. Initial assessment by the triage nurse indicated that the patient, presented with EVD clinical symptoms and history of travel to the affected area, was a suspected case of EVD. Healthcare staff with appropriate personal protective equipment transferred the patient along a designated route to the negative pressure room of the AED, where clinical assessment was conducted by an emergency physician. Subsequently, the patient was transferred to the HA Infectious Disease Centre at Princess Margaret Hospital for further treatment.

     The exercise also tested the decontamination of triage station and negative pressure room; cleansing of vomitus from the suspected EVD patient; and crowd control arrangement to segregate other patients and staff members from the cordoned-off area.

     "Apart from the workflow and measures in handling walk-in patient, the exercise also simulated the counselling service provided by Clinical Psychologist and infection control team to staff members who have been exposed to the suspected Ebola case," said the Associate Consultant (Accident & Emergency) of POH, Dr Terry Lau.

     "The drill ensures that AEDs are well-prepared to mitigate the risk of the disease being spread in Hong Kong through early detection, isolation and diagnosis of suspected cases." Dr Lau added.

     In view of the earlier outbreaks of EVD in West Africa, HA has stepped up contingency measures and closely liaised with the Centre for Health Protection on the latest risk assessment of the situation.  Public hospital AEDs have earlier conducted exercises of handling suspected EVD patients conveyed by ambulance.  Another round of drills are ongoing at the AEDs focusing on the familiarisation of front-line colleagues with handling walk-in patients at AEDs.

Ends/Friday, December 12, 2014
Issued at HKT 10:09


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