On the morning of Jan. 29, a patient thought to potentially have the Ebola virus was transferred from Sacramento’s Mercy General Hospital to the UC Davis Medical Center in Sacramento. While the patient ultimately tested negative for Ebola, the patient was said to have had symptoms consistent with Ebola and had recently traveled to a country affected by Ebola.
According to Laura McCasland, spokeswoman for the Sacramento County Public Health Department, the patient was kept at the UC Davis Medical Center while the testing for Ebola was conducted at the Sacramento County Public Health lab. The test took about 8 hours to complete.
While waiting for the results of the test, the UC Davis Medical Center team kept the patient in an isolated room to prevent the spread of potential disease.
Although the patient ended up testing negative for Ebola, the situation showed the preparation of those at the UC Davis Medical Center.
“The entire practice, from the beginning to end, went well, due to the extensive planning and preparation between Sacramento County Public Health, UC Davis, the California Department of Public Health and the Centers for Disease Control,” McCasland said.
In December, the UC Davis Medical Center was designated as one of 35 hospitals in the U.S. as Ebola treatment centers, and one of eight sites in California. Dr. J. Douglas Kirk, chief medical officer of UC Davis Medical Center. says that the UC Davis Medical Center had undergone extensive training and created procedures to deal with the possibility of Ebola.
“UC Davis Health System has been closely monitoring information about the Ebola outbreak in Africa and developments in the U.S. and the Sacramento region since late last summer,” Kirk said. “Our care teams have been preparing for months to develop the safest and most effective response to the Ebola virus.”
Earlier this year, the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as well as state and local public health officials, visited the UC Davis Medical Center to assess its preparedness to treat Ebola. This visit included evaluations of staff training, infection control and personal protective equipment use.
“UC Davis Medical Center has established a reputation for stepping up to meet health-care challenges,” said Kirk. “Responding to public-health threats is nothing new for us. UC Davis is well prepared for whatever comes our way.”