… Although the CDC initially said any U.S. hospital should be able to care for an Ebola patient, Gold (Chancellor of the University of Nebraska Medical School, where 3 victims were treated) argued that it really often does require a special biocontainment unit. There are only four in the country: at Nebraska, Emory University Hospital, the National Institutes of Health and Providence St. Patrick Hospital in Missoula, Montana. In addition, as Lakey said, states are setting up facilities and Bellevue Hospital in New York successfully treated Ebola patient Dr. Craig Spencer.
“A national readiness plan is absolutely necessary,” Gold said. “The number of actual beds is under 20. The number of usable beds is under 10.”
Dr. Nicole Lurie, who is assistant secretary for preparedness and response at the Health and Human Services Department, said Ebola is very unlikely to spread in the U.S., but it’s essential to be prepared. “We might expect a handful of cases in the United States,” she told the hearing. “Ebola has told us that we really need high-containment facilities.”
Senators Ed Markey and Rob Portman had similar comments:
“…There are only four hospitals with biocontainment facilities in the United States, and together they have a total of eleven beds that can be used at any one time for Ebola patients. In the event that those facilities become full, it is imperative that we have the capability to isolate and treat newly diagnosed Ebola patients at appropriate alternative locations that are trained, staffed and prepared to provide specialized treatment for Ebola patients…