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New IMC emergency preparedness unit equipped to handle emerging illnesses

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The world may face threats of emerging infectious diseases at times like the Ebola scare a few years ago. In the event of a relatively unknown disease or for research, the new Emergency Preparedness Unit at Intermountain Medical Center is equipped to handle just that.

Mike Hayes says it’s a facility not like many others in the country. The new unit is comparable to NIH’s bio-containment centers which there are few of across the country. Any disease that the CDC declares emerging, highly infectious and isn’t known how to care for can be handled at the preparedness unit. Hayes optimistically hopes that the unit will never have to be used.

The unit operates with a one directional flow. Care provider enter the room but have to go exit through a different door in order to decontaminate (showering, etc.) to enter back into a clean area. It takes about 15-20 minutes to dress to enter the room and care providers inside communicate through headsets to others outside. Specialized auto-sealing windows allow for objects to be passed into the unit. 

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