Three Hospitals Designated for Md. Ebola Patients - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Three Hospitals Designated for Md. Ebola Patients

ANNAPOLIS, Md. - (AP/WBOC) Maryland officials say anyone who's diagnosed with Ebola in the state would be treated at one of three hospitals, including one in Washington, if a federal facility is not available.

State officials released their plan for dealing with a confirmed Ebola case on Thursday. Governor Martin O'Malley said no cases of Ebola have been diagnosed in Maryland to date. Under their new strategy for caring for potential Ebola patients, O'Malley said all hospital emergency departments in teh state will continue to be prepared to evaluate patients suspects of having Ebola and should a case of Ebola be confirmed, O'Malley said the patient would be treated at one of three designated hospitals, if no federal facility is available.

In that instance, anyone testing positive for Ebola in Maryland would go to either Johns Hopkins Hospital, the University of Maryland Medical Center in Baltimore, or  Medstar Washington Hospital Center.

"Maryland has the best medical facilities anywhere in the world," Gov. O'Malley said. "We are working closely with our federal partners and with hospital officials to be as prepared as we can be."

"This consolidated, coordinated, response provides the best opportunity to treat Ebola patients successfully and prevent the disease from spreading further, should we have any cases in Maryland," said Dr. Joshua M. Sharfstein, Secretary of DHMH.

Carmela Coyle, president and CEO of the Maryland Hospital Association, said Maryland's hospitals are proud to care for all those in need, including those suffering from Ebola. "Johns Hopkins, MedStar and the University of Maryland Medical System have demonstrated their commitment to caring for the most vulnerable patients, by stepping forward to care for those afflicted with Ebola. They are further preparing to meet this challenge, should the need arise."

"Through research into an Ebola vaccine and clinical preparedness in the hospital, we are working hard to contribute to the worldwide effort to fight this virus and advance Maryland's preparedness," said E. Albert Reece, Dean of the University of Maryland School of Medicine.

According to the details of the strategy, all Maryland hospitals will screen patients to identify those who potentially have Ebola, will isolate any potential cases, and will work with the state's public health laboratory to quickly confirm whether Ebola is present. If a case is confirmed, DHMH says it will work with the CDC to determine whether a federal facility is available to treat the patient. If a federal facility is not available, then DHMH will coordinate with the three health systems in Maryland to determine where to transfer the patient for care.

The state still has not said how it plans to monitor all people returning to the state from West Africa, where the virus is concentrated. The Centers for Disease Control has ordered Maryland and five other states to monitor everyone coming from Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.
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