Oct 22, 2014 5:44 PM

Dartmouth Hitchcock tapped as hospital for long-term ebola care in New Hampshire


LEBANON - The department of Health and Human Services says while all New Hampshire hospitals can identify any ebola cases, it's Dartmouth Hitchock that should be the go to hospital for long term treatment.

The hospital says it's ready to treat patients, and protect its staff.

If an ebola patient were taken to Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon, they would be brought to a secure ambulance bay offering a special entrance into a designated wing off the emergency room.

That separate entrance first leads into a decontamination room especially designed to handle bio-hazards. It fits the protocols set by the Centers for Disease Control for handling the ebola virus.

Dartmouth's Chief Medical Officer Dr. Edward J. Merrens said, "Our dedication is not only to decontaminating the patient, but also our obligation to decontaminate the vehicle and crew that brought them here."

The decontamination room sits adjacent to the patient room, equipped with the latest technology the hospital has to offer. That includes video conferencing between doctors and patient through Telehealth.

Dr. Merrens said, "What we uniquely bring to this, specialists to interact from outside the room with the patient and minimize the number of people that come into the room. this is a unique capability that Dartmouth has to offer."

It's also a negative pressure room -meaning the air won't recirculate outside the room. Even though ebola is only transmitted through bodily fluids, and not through the air, a negative pressure room falls under the highest level of containment.

"Outside the patient room is an anti-room where we will create an environment where the care team will assemble. It's out of the flow of the hospital. It's a dedicated, dedicated space we can use," said Dr. Merrens.


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