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Wednesday, October 15, 2014

My Hypothesis confirmed -- Thomas Duncan died due to substandard treatment and now Nurses getting sick

The Nurses at the Presbyterian Hospital tell a horror story of how the late patient Duncan was given substandard treatment that probably contributed to his death. They make 5 allegations, which I extracted from a CNN report:

"A nurses' union is sounding the alarm about the lack of safety protocols at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas after two nurses there apparently contracted Ebola from a patient who later died of the virus."

This is a follow on post to an earlier post:

  1. Duncan wasn't immediately isolated
  2. The nurses' protective gear left their necks exposed
  3. At one point, hazardous waste piled up
  4. Nurses got no 'hands-on' training
  5. The nurses 'feel unsupported - fear retaliation for talking

The nurses tell horror stories of how during his initial admitting process he was left in the hall and treated by Nurses wearing minimal protective gear. They then go on to say that when he was finally placed in an isolation ward the gear they were given wasn't much better. Thus it's only a surprise that only two nurses have tested positive for Ebola. And it remains to be seen if they will get the kind of first class care that is necessary for them to survive.

More details:

"The nurses' statement alleged that when Duncan was brought to Texas Health Presbyterian by ambulance with Ebola-like symptoms, he was “left for several hours, not in isolation, in an area” where up to seven other patients were. “Subsequently, a nurse supervisor arrived and demanded that he be moved to an isolation unit, yet faced stiff resistance from other hospital authorities,” they alleged."

They also note:

"Duncan's lab samples were sent through the usual hospital tube system “without being specifically sealed and hand-delivered. The result is that the entire tube system … was potentially contaminated,” they said."

They deny that Presbyterian understood or passed on CDC guidelines:

"The statement described a hospital with no clear rules on how to handle Ebola patients, despite months of alerts from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta about the possibility of Ebola coming to the United States."
“There was no advanced preparedness on what to do with the patient. There was no protocol. There was no system. The nurses were asked to call the infectious disease department” if they had questions, but that department didn't have answers either, the statement said. So nurses were essentially left to figure things out on their own as they dealt with “copious amounts” of highly contagious bodily fluids from the dying Duncan while they wore gloves with no wrist tape, flimsy gowns that did not cover their necks, and no surgical booties, the statement alleged."

All this has policy implications. I'd like to think that what we need is a National Health Militia that is more like the Founders would have constituted it had they known what we know now. Further Reading:

Source for second half of article:

What is wrong with our attitude towards Ebola is now coming back to bite us:

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