During These Uncertain Times Winthrop Takes Measures to Ensure Health of Hospital and Community

Vol. 13, No. 1
April, 2003

  • Winthrop Researchers Publish Major Breakthrough - Results Impact Life-Threatening Lung Disease in Premature Babies

  • Winthrop's "Dome of Light and Hope" Dedicated to a Four-Year-Old Miracle of Love

  • During These Uncertain Times Winthrop Takes Measures to Ensure Health of Hospital and Community

  • Winthrop's Bioterrorism Plan - a Hospital at the Ready

  • Winthrop Offers New Hope for Patients Living with Chronic Digestive Diseases

  • Plans for a New, Expanded Endoscopy Suite Underway

  • Allergy Season Can Wreak Havoc on Asthmatics - Know the Warning Signs of Asthma and its Triggers

  • 'We Searched the World for You'... Winthrop's International Adoption Program Helps Bring Families Together

  • Winthrop Takes Giant Leap to Eliminate Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Healthcare

  • Winthrop's New Pre-Admission Testing Center Offers Patients Streamlined Services in One Modern Location

  • Accolades for Winthrop's Diabetes Education Center's Self Management Program

  • 'Winthrop's New Pediatric Diabetes Program Receives National Recognition from American Diabetes Association

  • Jay's World Childhood Cancer Foundation Pledges $100,000 to Winthrop-University Hospital's New Pediatric Inpatient Center

  • Tips for living better with asthma

  • Winthrop's Newly Renovated Emergency Department Officially Dedicated

  • 18th annual golf tournament

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  • Pith the Federal Government's plan for initiating the vaccination of military personnel and healthcare workers throughout the nation from smallpox, Winthrop-University Hospital is among those partaking in the voluntary program. President Bush has made it clear that healthcare workers are among the country's first line of defense against a potential bioterror attack using the smallpox virus and Winthrop takes seriously the task at hand - protecting the health of the community - in good times and bad.

    "The goal of implementing the smallpox vaccination program and a bioterrorism preparedness plan at Winthrop is to ensure that the hospital continues to function, serving all patients whether they have been exposed to the smallpox virus or are experiencing any other illness," explained Gerald Brody, MD, Chairman of Winthrop's Emergency Services Department. "Taking part in the vaccination program is one way to ensure the normal operation of the hospital in the event of a bioterror attack."

    Dr. Gerald Brody points out some of the telltale signs of the smallpox disease.
    Dr. Brody explained that no one is immune to the virus anymore, even if they were previously vaccinated, because immunity only lasts about 10 years. The last smallpox vaccines were given in the late 1970's leaving the public vulnerable to the virus. With the vaccination, a person's immunity is close to 100 percent.

    The government's vaccination program is a three-phase project with the initial phase targeting healthcare workers in hospitals across the nation. Approximately 500,000 people will be vaccinated during this phase.

    Dr. Brody stated that the smallpox vaccination program, which is offered to healthcare workers on a voluntary basis, is a crucial part of Winthrop's overall bioterrorism preparedness plan. "Smallpox is only one bioterror scenario and is very scary because there is no specific treatment," said Dr. Brody. "By protecting and immunizing the hospital community, we can better care for the overall public. Our front line professionals will be ready to care for those exposed in the event of an attack."

    Winthrop's Bioterrorism Plan - a Hospital at the Ready

    According to Dr. Brody, one of the pioneers of Winthrop's bioterrorism preparedness plan, the Hospital is equipped with a series of antibiotics and antidotes, including Mark I kits - specific antidotes for nerve gases made available by the government.

    In addition, as part of the Emergency Department expansion and renovation project, new decontamination showers have been added and the Department is doing surveillance of any unusual cases that come through the ER.

    "We have done training and implemented policies to ensure that we are as prepared as possible," he added.

    Dr. Brody stressed that information is key. "It is important for healthcare workers as well as the general public to understand and recognize signs and symptoms of various diseases."

    He continued, "Listen to national alerts, pay attention to what goes on around you, especially when traveling. Be aware of illnesses that aren't typical. Our best defense is education and information."

    For more information on Winthrop's Emergency Services Program, call 1-866-WINTHROP.

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