UCSD Medical Center says it's prepared for Ebola - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

UCSD Medical Center says it's prepared for Ebola

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SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - There are no confirmed cases of Ebola in California, but should anyone contract the virus in our area, they would be treated at UCSD Medical Center. A new unit designed specifically for Ebola patients was just developed there.

"We started building this October 4," Dr. Jay Doucet, a member of the UC San Diego Health System Ebola response task force said. "That was the time when Mr. Duncan first showed up with Ebola in Dallas."

"We built a special unit with space for 1-2 patients sealed off to rest of hospital not used for any other patients," he added.

Doucet gave CBS News 8 a tour of the new 1800 square-foot facility, showing our cameras the PPE -- or protective personal equipment -- each staff volunteer in the unit must wear. It's essentially a head-to-toe hazmat suit.

After suiting up, they head into a sealed off room. Our cameras were there as they conducted a training exercise. An observer watches from behind the glass, making sure there are no rips or tears in their protective gear, and also checking them for signs of fatigue.

All blood work and testing can be done inside this room, so the patient's blood never needs to leave the unit. There's also a special method for disposing of waste.

Staff is also trained how to remove their protective suits. From behind sealed off glass, another observer guides them.

"I expect it's unlikely we'll ever have to use it for an Ebola patient, but we're just being safe," Doucet said.


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