Managing Viral Haemorrhagic Fever in the Emergency Department LE01-LE06
Sean Kevin Buchanan,
Africa Institute of Emergency Medicine, Johannesburg, South Africa; Department of Emergency Medicine,
Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa.
The Emergency Department, regarded as the gateway to healthcare, is frequently the first point of contact for significantly ill patients. Because the initial presentation of a Viral Haemorrhagic Fever (VHF) case is largely non-specific, the role of Emergency Department (ED) staff is pivotal in curtailing a Formidable Epidemic Disease (FED) outbreak. An immediate action plan describing appropriate, safe, effective, yet simple steps to be taken is of utmost value. This manuscript discusses aspects pertaining to ED preparedness and readiness in the event of a suspected VHF case presentation, including facility readiness in safely receiving a patient, protection of staff and others, decontamination of equipment and personnel, initial steps in containing the disease and prevention of an outbreak.