Fifty-five hospitals in the United States have been designated Ebola treatment centers (ETCs) by their state and local health authorities. Designated ETCs must have appropriate plans to manage a patient with confirmed Ebola virus disease (EVD) for the full duration of illness and must have these plans assessed through a CDC site visit conducted by an interdisciplinary team of subject matter experts. This study determined the clinical laboratory capabilities of these ETCs. ETCs were electronically surveyed on clinical laboratory characteristics. Survey responses were returned from 47 ETCs (85%). Forty-one (87%) of the ETCs planned to provide some laboratory support (e.g., point-of-care [POC] testing) within the room of the isolated patient. Fortyfour (94%) ETCs indicated that their hospital would also provide clinical laboratory support for patient care. Twenty-two (50%) of these ETC clinical laboratories had biosafety level 3 (BSL-3) containment. Of all respondents, 34 (72%) were supported by their jurisdictional public health laboratory (PHL), all of which had available BSL-3 laboratories. Overall, 40 of 44 (91%) ETCs reported BSL-3 laboratory support via their clinical laboratory and/or PHL. This survey provided a snapshot of the laboratory support for designated U.S. ETCs. ETCs have approached high-level isolation critical care with laboratory support in close proximity to the patient room and by distributing laboratory support among laboratory resources. Experts might review safety considerations for these laboratory testing/diagnostic activities that are novel in the context of biocontainment care.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Microbiology (medical)