Leipzig. The patient, who was treated for Ebola at the Klinikum St. Georg hospital since last Thursday, has died on Monday. The 56 year-old member of the UN staff had been taken to Leipzig in a special airplane last week. More detailed circumstances as to the death cannot be made public due to doctor-patient confidentiality and personal protection rights.
“We very much regret the death of the patient infected with Ebola, and express our deepest compassion to the family and friends of the patient. In spite of intensive medical care treatment and the high experience and efforts of doctors and nurses, this death could not be prevented,” Dr. Iris Minde, Managing Director of Klinikum St. Georg hospital, said in a statement.
The patient had already been in very critical condition upon arrival and received life-stabilizing treatment at the hospital. He was hospitalized at the special isolation unit for highly-contagious diseases in a negative pressure room. There, strict safety precautions ensure that no risk exist for the medical staff and the environment due to contamination with the virus. Among other measures, these include a special ventilation system, which filters supply and exhaust air, as well as decontamination of waste water.
In the past few days, in the treatment of the patient, at least 20 to 30 disposable medical gloves were exchanged per hour. Additionally, up to 100 special protective suits per day were expended. All materials devoted to this treatment are considered at Level 4 hazardous waste and are, according to guidelines of the Robert Koch Institute, safely disposed of. For the decontamination of hazardous waste directly at Klinikum St. Georg hospital, the autoclave is put into use. This is a gas-tight, sealable pressure vessel for steam pressure sterilization.
The patient infected received intensive care around the clock in shifts of 3-4 hours. In each shift, there are at least six team members on duty. The personnel have been specially trained in the medical treatment of infectious diseases. Compliance with hygiene standards is maintained with the utmost care. Hospital staff were equipped at all times with liquid-tight suits and special respirators. Disrobing the protective clothing was taken over by a second and third person and never done by the person wearing the suit itself. Each person decontaminated the other – in doing so, there are mutual checks in place. The health of personnel is being continuously monitored.