The Isolation Ward

This is an area of mystery to most of the FAH employees since many of them have never been there yet they see animals go in and out of it frequently.

The isolation ward is designed to allow hospitalization of animals with contagious disease without spreading those diseases to other animals coming into the clinic for routine proceedures. The classic disease we are worried about is Canine Parvovirus. Fortunately this disease is not considered to be contagious by "airborne" transmission. However, it is VERY contagious by contact with contaminated objects. It's hard to always be conscious of what has touched what and prevent transmission to other patients. In gereral, only the veterinarians and AHT's are allowed into the isolation ward. The ware DOES have a negative airflow so that airborne "germs" cannot be transmitted into the rest of the hospital.

Waste from the isolation ward is never carried into the rest of the hospital. That which can be is entered directly into the sewage system. The rest is double bagged and trasferred to the land fill directly.

A hand wash and foot bath are seen which are used by all personnel as they leave the isolation ward. Parvovirus cases are very messy because of the large amounts of diarrhea they tend to produce. This makes protecting from transmission on the feet, hands and clothing very challenging. We so sometimes wear protective "garb", however, more commonly we allow either the AHT or the veterinarian to be considered "contaminated" (even though we do the chlorox baths) and the "uncontaminated" person does the physical contact with all patients that are not considered adequately protected by vaccination yet.

It is very difficult to get in to observe the patients in isolation as often as we wish we could since they have to be maintained away from the other patients. The is the most common situation were the TV monitoring system is so important. We can see if a patient has made a mess (which happens so often with parvovirus) so we can clean up after them. We do not allow patients with most contagious disease to walk outside to minimize the contamination of our premises. The TV monitors are located where we can watch them during our routine daily proceedures and can also be followed at Dr. McKee's home on his television.