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Can the CDC Stop Ebola in the US?

Looking at this list of failures of the Centers for Disease Control to stop Ebola in the US so far, there’s good reason to wonder if they are up to the job. The cheapness of hospitals and the foolishness of adminstrators and doctors in not being better prepared is inexcusable. Consider the following examples and my common-sense questions about them:

Nurses wore protective suits that are open at the neck.

And then the administrators make excuses as to why this is acceptable practice? Why would you leave anything open? Is it not worth three inches of fabric to complete the isolation in order to stop the spread of Ebola in the US? According to the National Nurses Union (which has no members at this hospital) some nurses reported they were told they did not need to wear masks. Others were seen with gloves that were not taped to their sleeves.

A doctor stated to nurses at Presbyterian Hospital that protective clothing was optional AFTER he said he suspected Thomas Duncan had Ebola.

Why wait for the conclusive test to come back before taking this precautionary measure? If your examination leads you to believe the virus is Ebola, wouldn’t you put safety first?

Was this even a smart financial decision, given the horrible outcome to Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital now with seevnty-one staff members in isolation and worldwide bad press plus all the time that staff spent treating the exposed nurses? The cost-saving measure of not requiring full protection must be enormous.

Since the doctor knew where the patient had been and that he had the outward signs of Ebola, why would he risk millions of dollars for the sake of saving a few thousand dollars in supplies that might be used up while everyone waits for the lab results. So, even outside the more important question about the human lives put at stake, the choice to make protective clothing optional until test results came back is financially irresponsible. Add back in the risk to human lives, and it seems contemptible.

So many medical professionals don’t even know how to take the hazmat gear off safely.

I have a family member who is a nurse, and she was told by a doctor to take off her gloves before she peels off her protective clothing with her hands. Why would you even think of doing that? Naturally, she stayed with doing it her own way of taking the gloves off last, even though she is a “mere nurse” and he an “all-knowing doctor.”

If you’re wearing any kind of protective gear, you are only doing so because of a risk of contamination. Therefore, the only safe assumption when removing the suit is that it is contaminated. So, why would you touch it with your bare hands, which are the part of you most likely to touch many other things and people or to touch things that enter your mouth?

My wise relative told the doctor she always wears two pairs of gloves. She puts one pair of gloves on first, then puts on the clean protective gear, then pulls another pair of gloves on over the cuffs of the protective gear. When she takes the gear off, she slips her head out and then pulls the top off inside out, which strips the outer pair of gloves off and into the wadded (now inside-out) suit, leaving her with a completely clean pair of gloves still on her hands for taking off the pants part of her protective wear.

How is the CDC going to stop Ebola in the US if it doesn’t even make sure hospitals everywhere understand such simple procedures as how to remove hazmat gear without touching the infected parts to any part of you or your clothing that will be leaving the isolation room? Shouldn’t this be hazmat 101 in all hospitals? My family member figured that practice out on her own.

Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital informed nurses that protective clothing was “on order.”

Really??? On order? Why doesn’t buy ambien cheapest every major hospital in the US have full-coverage hazmat suits on hand at all times in case of a local epidemic? It is not as if Ebola is the only contagious epidemic that can hit a community. Hazmat suits offer protection for numerous diseases. Do they not stock them because of cost?

Couldn’t Presby Hospital, at least, SEND A COURIER THAT DAY TO PICK SOME UP? We’re talking the metropolis of Dallas here, not Podunk, Idaho. Surely such equipment is available somewhere in a city that size that could be delivered to Presby within an hour. So, if you’re too cheap to keep the equipment in stock, why wouldn’t you, in the very least, know your closest supply line in advance in case you need such protective equipment in an emergency? Are there actually no other hospitals in Dallas that have this equipment so that Presby couldn’t have called around and bought some immediately while the unaffected hospital ordered some replacement for its own stock?

Presby was either too cheap to send a courier or too stupid to think the risk was worth it, or no one in Dallas has the necessary equipment. So, now two of their nurses could die and 71 of their staff members are in isolation. The level of unpreparedness for an infectious disease outbreak in Dallas sends the stupid meter spinning so fast it may take flight faster than their medevac helicopters.

Speaking of flight, why would anyone at the CDC tell a nurse who’s said she’s been treating the nation’s only Ebola patient that she can fly via public airline after that nurse also tells them she is running a mild fever?

Again, I ask, “Really?” The CDC said it was because the fever was less than the criteria of 100.4. Now, you’ve got to be dumber than a fence post not to know that all fevers start from 98.6 and slowly build. So, if the fever was only 99.9 wouldn’t you wonder if it might not reach 100.4 before the end of the flight, especially if this person just told you she has been working in the isolation ward of the only known Ebola victim living in the U.S. right now, and Ebola is the CDC’s HOTTEST international concern at the moment? Wouldn’t your first thought be, MAYBE we should err’ on the side of caution and not put her in a plane filled with people since she says she is starting to feel sick?

 

Are these the people who are going to stop Ebola in the US?

 

You know that part of the problem here is probably hubris — being too arrogant as a doctor or administrator to think you aren’t well enough prepared. Either that, or hospitals are too cheap to have full-coverage hazmat gear on hand. The only other explanation I can think of is the one implied throughout the questions above: there must be a lot of very stupid people involved. So, I wonder, what would they plead — arrogance, cheapness or endless cycles of stupidity?

It cannot be accidental ignorance of their situation because Presby had a nurse on their staff who adamantly took several administrators to task for the flaws in the equipment she and the other nurses were being provided, but none of the doctors or administrators would listen to her. She even pointed out the obvious opening around the neck, which is common in the protective gear of many hospitals. Apparently, it is more important to have your knee caps covered than an area close to your mouth that is in direct line of fire for sneezing or projectile vomiting when you are bending over a patient. Did anyone not think that a male nurse might have nicked himself shaving there, allowing a point of direct infection?

 

Come on people! THINK! Or admit you’re cheap or that you’re too arrogant to listen to a nurse.

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