Houston hospitals practice drills for Ebola

HOUSTON (KTRK) -- Clinics across the greater Houston area are taking steps to prepare for an Ebola patient to possibly walk through their doors.

UTHealth has placed personal protective equipment at each of its 80 clinics. On Thursday, morning some employees viewed a demonstration on the proper way to wear and use the gear. They were also instructed on proper removal, decontamination and disposal of Ebola patient-related material.

"We need to take care of the health care workers and the waste handlers in that whole continuum. That exist to provide support in this time of response," says Dr. Robert Emery of UTHealth.

Authorities say a patient infected with Ebola can generate 40 times more biohazardous waste than a regular patient. That was clearly the case in Dallas at the apartment complex where patient Eric Duncan had been. Hazardous materials crews spent days decontaminating that unit and packing up and sealing off potentially contaminated materials in large fiberboard barrels.

The waste is never removed from those containers and is then incinerated.
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