Ebola Update

Update from South Peninsula Hospital  Oct. 19, 2014
Although South Peninsula Hospital has not yet treated anyone who falls into the risk category for Ebola, when needed we will utilize the screening criteria for patient isolation as set forth by The Center for Disease Control and Prevention for Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) as follows:

Fever, headache, joint and muscle aches, weakness, fatigue, diarrhea, vomiting,
stomach pain, lack of appetite and, in some cases, bleeding,
recent travel (within 21 days) to Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone or
other countries where EVD transmission has been reported by the World Health Organization,
or close contact with someone who has a confirmed case of Ebola.

If a person meets both criteria, we ask them to come to the ER immediately. However, such patients are advised to please call the main phone number 235-8101 prior to their arrival so we can prepare for their visit and, if conditions warrant, admit them through a private entrance to avoid the public areas.

How is Ebola Spread?

According to the CDC, there are several ways Ebola can spread to other people:

  • Touching the blood or body fluids of a person who is sick with or has died from Ebola, including but not limited to urine, saliva, feces, vomit and semen. To become infected with the virus, you would need to get some of the ill person’s bodily fluids into your mouth, nose, or eyes, or into your body via a cut or a needle stick. Doctors say that there is no evidence anyone has ever been infected via sweat.
  • Touching objects contaminated with the virus, like syringes or other medical equipment
  • Touching infected animals, by contact with blood or fluids or infected meat
  • A cough from a sick patient could infect someone close enough to be sprayed with droplets of mucus or saliva. People dealing with anyone who may be ill are told to stand at least three feet away, preferably six. Being within three feet of a patient for a prolonged time, without wearing protective gear, is considered direct contact.

Direct contact through broken skin or mucus membranes is key, as the CDC said Ebola cannot be spread through the air (the virus doesn’t drift through the air like germs that cause measles or tuberculosis) or by water or food.

Staying Healthy

The community is reminded that it is “flu season” and there are three serious contagious illnesses affecting the population nationwide, all three with some shared symptoms:  Influenza A (H1N1), Enterovirus and Ebola.

Our infection control team will be available at the Health Fair on Nov. 1 to share information, and 200 free flu shots will be administered at the health fair.

  • Influenza: The flu is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses that infect the nose, throat, and lungs.  It can cause mild to severe illness, and at times can lead to death. Symptoms include fever or feeling feverish/chills, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, muscle or body aches, headaches and fatigue (tiredness).
  • Enterovirus D68: Also known as EV-D68, Enterovirus D68 is a contagious respiratory illness initially resembling the common cold; symptoms include sneezing, a runny nose and a cough; however, some patients will get a severe cough, have difficulty breathing and/or develop a rash.  EV-D68 can also be accompanied by a fever or wheezing.

The best way to prevent the flu is by proper hand hygiene and getting a flu vaccine each year, which are available at all three medical clinics in the community, Safeway and the public health center by appointment only on Tuesdays and Thursdays for those who qualify*.  Homer Medical Center offers special flu shot clinics every Monday for HMC patients. Call 235-8586 to schedule a time to avoid a wait.
Is South Peninsula Hospital prepared? 

The Pandemic Flu committee at South Peninsula Hospital has been meeting since early October with specific regard to Ebola preparedness, and staff-wide education began this week to help all employees stay informed on prevention, identification of and treatment protocols. Dr. Larry Reynolds, our infection control physician, is conducting numerous employee trainings on preventing the spread of Ebola and other contagious diseases, and the pandemic flu committee meets regularly and attends statewide and nationwide teleconferences to stay abreast of trends and updates.

SPH Named a Top 100 Critical Access Hospital

South Peninsula Hospital was named a Top 100 Critical Access Hospital out of more than 1,300 critical access hospitals nationwide in 2013. This marks the third time in as many years to receive this designation.
The top 100 critical access hospitals scored best on the iVantage Health Analytics’ Hospital Strength Index, which includes a unique set of measures rating Market Strength, Value-based Strength and Financial Strength as key pillars for benchmarking. It incorporates 56 different performance metrics, including quality, outcomes, patient perspective, affordability and efficiency.

iVantage Health Analytics, Inc. manages the HealthStrong Awards Program, which recognizes exceptional performance among all eligible U.S. general acute care hospitals, including all rural hospitals and critical access hospitals.

Orthopedic Care Offered

Dr. Adcox relocated from Texas where he has been practicing orthopedics for nearly 10 years. He received a bachelor’s and master’s of science in biology from Texas Tech University, and earned his doctor of medicine degree at the University of Texas Medical School. He completed his residency in orthopedic surgery at the University of Texas Health Sciences Center, and completed his spine fellowship at South Texas Spinal Clinic, where he continued on as medical staff for several years.

The clinic is open Monday through Friday and located just below the hospital at 4201 Bartlett Street, Suite 201, in the Kachemak Professional Building, next to Kachemak Bay Medical Clinic. For more information or to schedule an appointment, call 235-0310.

Diabetes Education Now Offered

A referral is required.  Diabetes education is covered by many insurance programs.

For more information or to register, call 235-0369 or 235-0320.

Completing the Hospital Expansion

concept3In a special mail-in election the service area voters approved issuing $14.7 million in bonds to complete the next phase of the expansion. The bid for this final phase was awarded to Jay Brandt Construction, and work began in June of 2008. Part of this phase, including the new patient wing featuring 18 single occupancy rooms and a rooftop helicopter landing pad, opened in October, 2009. The remodeled and relocated laboratory and pharmacy opened in May, 2010.  The newly remodeled Surgery Center and Family Birthing Center opened in July, 2010.  The final piece of the project was completed in April, 2011, and is an addition to house a new MRI, located near the front entrance and connecting to the Imaging Department.