Date: Oct. 22, 2014
To: All MDUP Faculty, Staff, and Students
From: Paul Gill, H&S Advisor (Education), Faculty of Medicine
Reviewed and approved: Regional Associate Dean, Interior: Dr. Allan Jones
Regional Associate Dean, Northern BC: Dr. Paul Winwood
Regional Associate Dean, Vancouver Fraser: Dr. Amil Shah
Regional Associate Dean, Vancouver Island: Dr. Bruce Wright
Associate Dean, Office of Student Affairs: Dr. Janette McMillan
Re: Medical student involvement in the care of Ebola patients
In light of heightened concerns about the spread of the Ebola virus disease, the Faculty of Medicine (FoM) is monitoring developments from the BC Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC) and the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC). To date, we have not had any Ebola cases in the province or within Canada. The risk in B.C. is still considered low. A provincial task force, charged with ensuring a consistent response across all health authorities has been formed. The task force will review and refine protocols based on experiences from other jurisdictions, ensuring the safety of health-care workers and the public.
The safety of our students in dealing with a virus like this is our highest priority. Given the limited experience and training in similar high-risk situations, medical students are not permitted to be involved in the direct care of patients with suspected or confirmed Ebola. This is consistent with WorkSafeBC regulations, requiring medical student high-risk hazard training or limiting the chance of exposure. If initially exposed to an undiagnosed case, immediately excuse the medical student if the diagnosis is raised, and follow precautions for monitoring and isolation from the local health authority. In addition, report a confirmed diagnosis of the medical student to the Preceptor and local Assistant Dean, Office of Student Affairs.
For up-to date information, visit the BCCDC website (http://www.bccdc.ca/default.htm). Questions pertaining to the above information may be directed to:
Paul Gill, Health & Safety Advisor (Education) – Faculty of Medicine
Please see attached memorandum