With Omaha on the medical map in the fight against infectious diseases, area hospitals are gearing up.
In September, Omaha City Council approved a $59,000 grant for 17 news Isopods.
The purchase is for the Omaha Metropolitan Medical Response System organization.
The Isopods are Individual Patient Isolation Systems that help transport patients who have an infectious disease.
Nebraska Medicine gave KMTV a look at one of their Isopods.
Bio-Containment Nurse Manager Kate Boulter showed how the Isopod rolls out of a bag and has to be snapped together.
Clinical Program Coordinator Angie Vasa helped set up the single unit Isopod.
“Very easy, very quick,” said Boulter.
Nebraska Med has 10 Isopods they can use to transport patients.
In 2014 they were used when three patients with Ebola were treated at the hospital.
A month ago the hospital also trained with local EMS in an infectious disease drill.
“We are training for multiple patients at a time, so we are training for a pandemic, we are training for expansion of those infectious disease outbreaks,” said Vasa.
The Isopods have air filters powered by a battery.
“There are 3 HEPA filters, and all the air that is coming out goes through the filters so that way we are not contaminating the atmosphere,” said Boulter.
They are able to keep a patient safe, as well as the people handling the patient.
The recent purchase of 17 Isopods will be dispersed to hospitals across the metro.
“It is very important for the community to know they are going to be safe from the patient and the staff to take care of that patient in a way that will not endanger their own health and safety,” said Boulter.
Boulter and Vasa agree that everyone having access to Isopods will help with preparedness if an emergency were to happen.