A New York City doctor was rushed to Bellevue Thursday and later diagnosed with Ebola, just ten days after he returned from treating patients in one of the affected countries in Africa. Though city officials insist that any hospital is capable of treating low-stage patients with the disease, Bellevue has been designated as the center of Ebola care. Below are photos of some of the protective gear Bellevue staff will wear while treating patients, as explained to reporters earlier this month.
According to officials, the hospital has four separate isolation rooms for potential Ebola cases. The rooms also have smaller anterooms, where medical personnel will be able to dress and undress upon entering and exiting the patient’s quarters.
Because the medical gear must be taken off carefully, staff have received several hours of training on how to avoid contamination and will always have a buddy staff member keeping them on track. All gear will first be sanitized and then disposed of — double the precaution — to make sure no stray bits of the virus escape.
Medical personnel treating noncritical patients will wear protective gear covering their eyes, nose, and mouth as a safeguard against infected bodily fluids coming in contact with mucuous membranes. But because Ebola isn’t airborne, they don’t have to worry about covering hair or skin if the patient isn’t bleeding or vomiting.
Critical-care patients, who are displaying symptoms of the later stages of the disease, will be treated by staff in specialized suits. These include a protective head covering with a powered air-purifying respirator inside, which will enable them to breathe safely and keep the suits on for long periods of time.
For critical Ebola patients, the medical personnel will be totally covered, complete with disposable calf-length booties for their feet:
A version of this post was originally published on October 8. It has been updated throughout.