‘Buddy system’ in place as local hospitals prepare for Ebola

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Connecticut hospitals are preparing for a possible encounter with the deadly Ebola virus.

On Wednesday, Dr. Rocco Orlando, the Chief Medical Officer for Hartford Healthcare medical group, described the protocols if an Ebola patient arrived at one of the group’s five hospitals.

"This is not something you can train for in a casual way. You have to be bullet proof in the level of preparation,” Orlando said.

According to Orlando, the hospital group has been training for an Ebola encounter for over two months. He said emergency rooms are equipped with an isolation room and staff have trained using emergency protective gear.

"It is waterproof gowns, boots that cover that, triple gloves, and hoods, and face shields, high level respirators,” Orlando said.

Some have been critical of the Centers for Disease Control’s guidelines for protective clothing after a Dallas nurse contracted the deadly virus from Ebola patient, Thomas Eric Duncan, despite wearing protective gear. Orlando theorizes that she may have gotten the virus while taking her protective clothing off. Hartford Healthcare is working on a buddy system to prevent that scenario, he said.

"We’re creating a buddy system and actually, we're going to be training in the buddy system so that no one removes this gear without an observer,” Orlando said.

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