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[Tuesday, Nov. 4 at 3:10 p.m.]

Due to low call volume, the Aultman Health Foundation Resource Line is being discontinued. Please use the Ohio Department of Health’s 24-hour call center if you have any questions related to Ebola. The number is 1-866-800-1404. 

[Friday, Oct. 31 at 4:02 p.m.]

At Aultman, safety is our top priority. We go to great lengths to ensure the safety of our patients, visitors, employees and community. Our five nurses who shared a flight with Amber Vinson on Oct. 10 were put on paid administrative leave in an abundance of caution. Today, Oct. 31, is the final day in the 21-day incubation period. We’re happy to report that all of our nurses are healthy and showing no symptoms of Ebola. They will be released from their paid administrative leave on Nov. 1.

Training on how to care for a patient who presents with symptoms of Ebola has been on-going at Aultman and will continue. There are still no known cases of Ebola in Ohio – and for that, we’re grateful.

Thank you for your continued support as we strive to “lead our community to improved health.”

[Monday, Oct. 20 at 1:37 p.m.]

No patients have been diagnosed with Ebola at Aultman, and there are still no known cases in the state of Ohio. We immediately began taking precautionary measures to train and educate our staff on the proper protocol to treat a patient who displays possible symptoms and the risk factors of the Ebola virus. We will continue these efforts to ensure we are as prepared as possible in the unlikely event that a patient with Ebola does arrive at Aultman.

We’re screening patients at every access point by asking them if they have symptoms and the additional risk factors. These areas include ED triage, immediate care centers, same-day surgery, pre-op areas and admission points in our hospital as well as Aultman Orrville Hospital, Woodlawn and the Acute Care Specialty Hospital. We will continue to work with Aultman-employed physician offices, the Aultman Physician Clinic and AultWorks on education and training. Patients are being screened prior to their scheduled visits, and we’re doing the same in our pre-test department.

We’re adhering to the CDC requirements for all patients who present with a fever of 100.4 or greater AND any of the additional symptoms, like severe headaches, muscle pain, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain or unexplained hemorrhaging – AND one of the following risk factors: 

• Traveled to an Ebola-affected area within the past 21 days before the onset of symptoms.
• Contact with a person known to have or suspected to have Ebola.

We have been following the CDC updates closely and are adapting our practices as they recommend, and even taking some additional measures to ensure the safety of our patients, visitors, staff and community.

Aultman has designated specialized isolation rooms to treat these patients. The use of personal protective equipment that adheres to the current CDC recommendations has also been established. We will use a “trained observer” or “buddy system,” when working with these patients, which means our staff will actually watch each other during the safe application and removal of personal protective equipment. This ensures that everyone is being protected appropriately. 

Plans are in place for disinfection and waste removal – from limiting staff in the rooms to discarding linens into biohazard barrels contained in the room. We also have an infection prevention and control nurse and an infectious disease specialist on call 24 hours a day, seven days a week. In addition, we created a response team to handle any potential Ebola cases that may occur in our low-risk areas. 

Our high-risk areas (areas that are most likely to receive patients) and employed physician practices, including the Aultman Physician Clinic and AultWorks are receiving ongoing training.  All of our employees receive annual safety education. We’re taking that to a higher level given the circumstances. Our residents are being trained, as well. 

We conducted a mock drill last week that included a tabletop exercise of the entire process based on the Ohio Department of Health’s recommendation. Our goal is to ensure we’re screening and isolating appropriately and applying, removing and disposing of personal protective equipment safely. We have been evaluating the overall preparation of our staff and making adjustments as needed.  

We appreciate your support over the last few days and in the upcoming weeks as we strive to keep our community safe.

We established the Aultman Health Foundation Resource Line at 330-363-2652 for doctors, patients, employees and community members to use. In addition, the Ohio Department of Health has activated a 24-hour-a-day call center to answer Ohioans' questions about Ebola and the recent events in Ohio in an effort to ensure Ohioans get accurate, timely information. Please call 1-866-800-1404.
 
[Thursday, Oct. 16 at 2:15 p.m.]

We just concluded an Ebola update - open to media personnel. Here are some highlights:

On Wednesday, Oct. 15, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced that a Texas-based nurse who had recently traveled to Cleveland on an Oct. 10 flight has tested positive for the Ebola virus. We subsequently learned that five Aultman Hospital nurses were on the same flight.
We have since identified 13 adult patients who received care from our nurses on the flight from Dallas to Cleveland on Oct. 10. Because Ebola can only be transmitted while symptoms are present, we have no reason to believe any of these patients are at any risk. However, we have contacted each of them to ensure they are fully informed of the situation. We have also communicated with our employees who may have had contact with these nurses since last Friday. None of these nurses are showing any symptoms of Ebola. There are no known cases of Ebola at Aultman or in Ohio. 

We are actively training members of our staff who would likely have first contact with any patient arriving at our facilities with symptoms of Ebola. All of the appropriate gear has been made available and education has been provided to our clinical staff. All patients are being screened at every entry point to our facilities. 

Along with Jim Adams, health commissioner for Canton City Health Department, we'd like to reiterate that Ebola is not contagious until the patient shows signs or symptoms. It is not transmitted through the air or food, only through blood or other body fluids. 

According to Dr. Margaret Kobe, medical director of infectious disease and chair of infection prevention and control committee, there is much confusion about Ebola transmission. A body fluid of an infected individual must enter the body in some way (e.g. mouth, eyes or a cut) to transmit the disease. Dr. Kobe also points out that the original Ebola patient, Mr. Duncan, did not transmit the disease to anyone on his flight. 

We are not facing a health crisis. We are simply taking an abundance of precaution to ensure our community stays safe. Patients seeking medical treatment of any kind should not be concerned about coming to Aultman. There is absolutely no risk, as there is no Ebola in Ohio. 

We have opened up a resource line to handle any questions or concerns you may have. Please call 330-363-2652. 

[Thursday, Oct. 16 at 11:41 a.m.]

There have been multiple inquiries regarding the Aultman Employee Child Care Center. We have confirmed that none of the nurses have children at our child care facility. 

[Thursday, Oct. 16 at 10:43 a.m.]

There have been/are no patients diagnosed with Ebola at Aultman – and there are no known cases in the state of Ohio. 

At this time,
none of our nurses have any symptoms of the disease. In an abundance of caution, we placed these nurses on paid leave until Nov. 1. 

[Thursday, Oct. 16 at 10:19 a.m.]
We have opened up a resource line to handle any questions or concerns you may have. Please call 330-363-2652. 

In addition, the Ohio Department of Health has activated a 24-hour-a-day call center to answer Ohioans' questions about Ebola and the recent events in Ohio in an effort to ensure Ohioans get accurate, timely information. Please call 1-866-800-1404.

[Thursday, Oct. 16 at 9:54 a.m.]

Our team is working to provide updates to you as soon as they are available. Please check back often for the latest news on Ebola. 

[Wednesday, Oct. 15 at 8:07 p.m.]

Aultman is working closely with the Ohio Department of Health, the Stark County Health Department, the Stark County Emergency Operations Plan and other area hospitals and emergency management service organizations to take appropriate precautions in the event an individual with possible symptoms of the disease is identified in our community.

On Wednesday, Oct. 15, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced that a Texas-based nurse who had recently traveled to Ohio has tested positive for the Ebola virus. We have learned that five Aultman Hospital nurses were on the same flight from Dallas to Cleveland this past Friday, Oct. 10.

At the time our nurses shared the flight with this individual, she exhibited no symptoms of the disease. In fact, she did not exhibit any symptoms until four days later when she returned to Dallas and checked herself into a hospital on Tuesday. For those reasons, we are very optimistic the disease was not transmitted to our staff. 

However, in an abundance of caution, we have put the five nurses on paid leave as we await guidance from the CDC as to when they can return to work. 

As a further precaution, we have reviewed the assignments of those five nurses and identified the patients in their direct care. We are in the process of contacting those patients to make sure they are fully informed.

The safety of our patients, staff and the community is our priority and we will keep everyone informed as we know more.   

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