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An Exclusive Look Inside Isolation Rooms

MCKINNEY (CBSDFW.COM) – Isolation rooms in most North Texas hospitals are very similar to the ones inside the Medical Center in McKinney and at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas, where a patient with the first diagnosed U.S. Ebola case is being treated.

Each of McKinney's Medical Center's isolation rooms has double doors that sound an alarm if left open, which act as a buffer zone. Special ventilation systems strategically placed above patient's beds are another feature.

From the moment patients arrive, Director of Infection at Medical Center of McKinney, Lisa Kenner takes over.

"This is one our 11 airborne isolation rooms," said Kenner, who handles patients carrying dangerous and contagious illness.

"You will notice that they're kind of at the foot of the bed so if the patient is coughing or sneezing it's filtered out and goes through that system," said Kenner of the ventilation systems.

Aside from the obvious, such as gloves, the rooms also have lower air pressure than other parts of the hospital.

Kenner said the facility uses the room two or three times a month.

CDC-approved protective gear is on-hand should an Ebola patient come through the center's doors… a possibility that seemed remote until Tuesday.

"It makes it very real to us," said Kenner.

The Medical Center is owned by HCA, a substantial for-profit hospital system based in Nashville, that donated $1 million in aid to help fight the Ebola epidemic in West Africa.

(©2014 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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