St. Luke implements simple Ebola screen
Dr. Paige Dodson, chief of staff at St. Luke Hospital, told District 1 hospital board members on Tuesday that staff is screening patients for the Ebola virus. However, Dodson downplayed the chances that Ebola would appear in Marion.
“If there is a case (of Ebola) in Kansas, it will probably hit elsewhere before it comes to Marion,” Dodson said. “Honestly, if Ebola comes here, it’s pretty much out of the bag. But we are doing our due diligence as best we can.”
Dodson has been in contact with officials at the Center for Disease Control in Atlanta as well as at the Kansas Department of Health and Environment to establish screening procedures. The first level of screening is asking patients at the front desk and over the phone if they have traveled outside the United States recently. If they have, the next question hospital staff asks is whether they have a fever.
If someone were to answer positively to both questions at the hospital, hospital staff would cover the person’s nose and mouth with a surgical mask and escort the patient to a private examination room away from others, Dodson said.
“The flu will cause more deaths than Ebola,” Dodson said. “I’m actually more worried about the flu.”
Dodson said St. Luke has administered hundreds of flu vaccines to residents so far this flu season. Residents can receive a flu vaccine by visiting the hospital’s Walk-In Clinic between 8 and 9 a.m. or by scheduling an appointment by phone, said St. Luke CEO Jeremy Ensey.
Last modified Oct. 30, 2014