Bioterrorism & Emerging Infectious Diseases

Planning & Preparedness


 

Introduction

UTMB Hospitals and Clinics are the likely destination for large numbers of patients simultaneously exposed to a biological agent or ill with an emerging infectious disease.  When such an event occurs, or syndromic surveillance by our medical professionals detect an outbreak or exposure, the Institutional Emergency Plan shall be utilized, in conjunction with the Bioterrorism Readiness Plan or Emerging Infectious Diseases Readiness Plans to coordinate an effective response. 

The Institutional Emergency Preparedness Officer, Administrative Emergency Preparedness Officer, Hospital Epidemiologist, Director of Hospital Epidemiology, Vice President and CEO for Hospitals and Clinics, Chief Nursing Officer and others as required will determine the proper response by implementing any of the following actions, or other actions as necessary:

  • Limiting access to patient areas by visitors, medical staff or support personnel;
  • Co-horting of patients with similar symptoms;
  • Preferential use of negative air flow rooms or units;
  • Directing modifications of Contact Precautions or expanding use of personal protective equipment;
  • Suspending elective admissions and/or canceling elective surgical or invasive procedures;
  • Diverting patients (with or without specific symptoms) from emergency room services;
  • Establishing alternative site(s) for inpatient acute care;
  • Implementing the hospital emergency plan for staffing, delivery of critical medications or supplies and lockdown/access by limited authorized staff members;
  • Any other measure to:
    • Assure containment of disease spread;
    • Minimize exposure to caregivers and other patients;
    • Provide care necessary to the infected/exposed population

These institutional measures support specific protocols to be utilized in the identification and treatment of a broad range of emerging infectious diseases as described in the Bioterrorism Readiness Plan and Emerging Infectious Diseases Readiness Plan.

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