Nebraska Medicine – Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha is becoming a world leader in treatment of Ebola. Staff successfully treated two patients with the second released on Wednesday. Dr. Phil Smith is the director of their biocontainment unit and says they are sharing their knowledge with other facilities.
Dr. Smith says, “We are looking at a number of options ranging to developing video tapes, developing curricula, having courses on-site where teams of people can come in and tour our unit and see how we do things. We have all had hundreds of requests and hundreds of phone calls on specific questions on advice isolation and medical care and so forth.”
There are four biocontainment units in the country and Nebraska Medicine – Nebraska Medical Center is the largest. It originally had ten beds but they made modifications to treat Ebola patients.
Dr. Smith says, “Ebola patients are very sick. There are a lot of body secretions that are highly infectious and there needs to be a lot of equipment in the room so there really is only one patient that can be comfortably taken care of in a room with Ebola. With some other diseases it may be different.” He says, “We have made improvements in the last ten years and one of them was turning a room into a laboratory. We turned another room into a dirty utility room and another into a clean utility room.”
Dr. Smith says because of the extensive care Ebola patients require they can treat a maximum of two patints.