Ebola readiness at HCMC

HCMC routinely prepares and exercises its emergency response procedures for all types of emergencies, including infectious disease outbreaks. HCMC has a comprehensive plan in place if a patient presents with symptoms

As a Level I Trauma Center, Regional Hospital Resource Center and leader in emergency preparedness planning, Hennepin County Medical Center routinely prepares and exercises its emergency response procedures for disasters, infectious disease outbreaks (due to bioterrorism or natural events), and other types of emergency situations.

Just hours before the first case of Ebola was diagnosed in the United States, staff at HCMC conducted a comprehensive, 4-hour exercise to simulate the care of a patient with Ebola symptoms from the clinic all the way through to the ICU,  including transportation by ambulance to the emergency department.

“While we already have comprehensive plans in place to handle Ebola and any type of infectious disease, we wanted to make sure we did a run-through of our procedures from start to finish,” explains Mary Ellen Bennett, MPH, RN, CIC, Director of Infection Prevention and Employee Occupational Health.

“Our staff are trained in the early recognition of infections and what actions they should take if they see a suspicious case, and we have protocols in place to protect staff, patients, and visitors. The exercise confirmed that we are prepared to isolate and care for patients with symptoms of Ebola.”

Careful screening is the key to identifying or ruling out any patient who may be showing signs of Ebola. That’s why any patient seeking care who has a fever is being asked if they have traveled, and if they had contact with someone who was ill. This type of screening is the first step in helping caregivers identify risk factors. Screening and careful isolation practices are essential in preventing the spread of Ebola.

“We hope that no Minnesotans become ill with this virus,” said Bennett. “But we know that HCMC is prepared if they come here for care.”

For more information about Ebola, go to the Minnesota Department of Health ‘s web site  at www.health.state.mn.us.


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 (Photo credit: Alvin Sangma Photography)

35W Bridge collapse survivor to sign books at HCMC on August 1

Sonja and Garrett Ebling with their son, Cooper, and dog, Chauncey.

On the 5-year anniversary of the 35W bridge collapse, author, survivor, and former journalist Garrett Ebling will be at the HCMC Gift Shop on the street level of its Red Building to sign and promote copies of his new book, Collapsed, from 11 AM to 1 PM on Wednesday, Aug. 1.

“We spent many weeks at HCMC following the collapse and are still so full of gratitude for the EXCELLENT treatment Garrett received, and the kindness given to all of his family and supporters,” says Ebling’s wife, Sonja.

The author will sign his books in HCMC’s Red Building Gift Shop, located inside the entrance at 717  South 7th St. or 730 S. 8th St., just steps away from the emergency department where an ambulance brought Ebling to HCMC for care back in 2007.

is Ebling’s personal story of recovery as well as the stories of other survivors of the tragedy. For more information, go to www.35Wbridgecollapse.com.

HCMC NETWORK FEATURE: International Emergency Medicine training in Tanzania improves care in Minnesota

Dr. Steve Dunlop, faculty physician in the HCMC Emergency Department, has pursued training in International Emergency Medicine and now works to share it with others.  He uses his expertise to give better and more cost-effective care in Minnesota, facilitates training of HCMC physicians and others in Arusha, Tanzania, and is working to establish an International Emergency Medicine Fellowship program at HCMC.

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HCMC NETWORK FEATURE: Emergency Department pioneered in ultrasound use and leads today

Recent dramatic save in Coon Rapids shows benefits of HCMC residency training

Dr. Tom Wyatt and Dr. Eric Haug, graduates of the HCMC Emergency Medicine residency program, recently made clinical headlines with a dramatic save and article in Annals of Emergency Medicine about the first-reported Emergency Department thoracotomy for post-ablation tamponade (see HCMC NETWORK FEATURE: Patient’s chest opened to save life:  MDs credit HCMC medical training).   Crediting skilled teamwork with colleagues at Mercy Hospital for the good outcome, they also emphasized the importance of their HCMC Emergency Medicine residency training, including extensive training in the use of bedside Emergency Department (ED) ultrasound, which was pioneered at HCMC. Continue reading “HCMC NETWORK FEATURE: Emergency Department pioneered in ultrasound use and leads today”

HCMC NETWORK FEATURE: ECG blog travels around the world

Dr. Smith’s ECG blog teaches clinicians in over 170 countries around the world

Dr. Steve Smith, faculty physician in the HCMC Emergency Department (ED) has specialized in emergency cardiac care and electrocardiogram (ECG) interpretation since the 1990’s.  After writing a book on the ECG in acute myocardial infarction (MI), and writing and editing several other book chapters and textbooks, he grew frustrated by copyright issues, books going out of print, and space limitations on numbers of ECG’s, particularly in cases in which multiple serial ECG’s were necessary to illustrate case progression. Continue reading “HCMC NETWORK FEATURE: ECG blog travels around the world”

HCMC NETWORK FEATURE: Clinicians worldwide use Emergency Department educational website

More than 30,000 viewers in 151 countries have visited hqmeded.com, the HCMC Emergency Department educational website

In 2006, HCMC Emergency Department (ED) faculty physician Rob Reardon and 2005 residency graduate Scott Joing (now ED faculty) wanted an outlet to share educational videos within and beyond HCMC.  So they started the website hqmeded.com.

Dr. Reardon chose the name “hqmeded,” which stands for “high quality medical education.”  The goal was to provide high quality clinical educational materials, free of charge, on Emergency Medicine techniques and topics that HCMC ED physicians have researched, developed, and taught extensively.  From an early focus on ultrasound and airway management videos, the site has expanded to include more than 100 instructional videos and lectures with powerpoint presentations on diverse clinical topics, a link to Dr. Smith’s ECG blog, and online access to the ED’s weekly Critical Care Conference. Continue reading “HCMC NETWORK FEATURE: Clinicians worldwide use Emergency Department educational website”