Dallas Nurse Caught Ebola Because CDC Protocols Are Inadequate

Building Safer Protocols Isn’t Rocket Science … It’s Just Common Sense

A nurse in Dallas has caught Ebola even though she was wearing full protective gear.

The Centers for Disease Control says she must have broken protocol, or else she couldn’t have caught it.  Maybe she did … or maybe CDC assumptions are overly-optimistic.

But the whole point of protocols for dealing with life-and-death situations is to have backup systems, redundancy and a margin of error in case something goes wrong.

In other words, if a mistake could be fatal, you don’t just hope that there’s no human error or natural accident.  You build safety systems in so that – if something goes wrong – no one dies.

Safe Removal of Protective Suits

CDC head Frieden said today that removal of protective clothing is one of the easiest ways to get exposed to Ebola, if done incorrectly.

He also said that it is “not easy to do right.”

Yes …and the protocol should reflect those facts.

Specifically, the CDC protocol should require:

(1) Spraying of bleach or other disinfectant or uv light on the healhcare worker’s protective clothing before it is removed

(2) A buddy system, where an infectious disease specialist helps the healthcare worker take off their protective clothing without exposing themselves in the process

Respirators

Even the CDC now admits that Ebola can be spread if a carrier coughs or sneezes into the face of a healthcare worker.

And numerous scientists say that Ebola can be spread via aerosols created by vomit or the flushing of a toilet.

As such, CDC protocols must require frontline healthcare workers treating Ebola patients to wear respirators.

Phone Screening

Doctors should not have to guess whether patients have just come from Ebola hotzone countries like Liberia, Sierra Leone or Guinea.

Receptionists at doctor’s offices and hospitals around the country must ask the patient on the phone – before they come in – whether they’ve recently traveled there.

If the answer is yes, extra caution should be used to examine the patient … or they should be sent to specialist facilities which know how to spot and handle potential Ebola patients.

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  • KC

    If this article is correct, full protective gear was NOT used until the positive ebola test came back 2 days after he was finally admitted to the hospital.
    http://www.latimes.com/nation/la-na-ebola-positive-20141012-story.html#page=2

    — On Sept. 25, Duncan came to the ER complaining of a headache and abdominal pain. At one point, he registered a fever of 103 and told the hospital he had been in West Africa. He was sent home with a prescription for antibiotics.
    — His condition worsened dramatically, and on Sept. 28, he returned to the hospital in an ambulance shortly after 10 a.m.
    — Doctors admitted him and put him in isolation. By evening, he was projectile vomiting, having explosive diarrhea and his temperature was 103.1 degrees.
    — On Sept. 29, as his condition worsened, Duncan asked the nurse to put him in a diaper.
    — On Sept. 30, tests results confirmed Duncan had Ebola. Only then did staff treating Duncan trade their gowns and scrubs for hazmat suits, and the room was cleaned with bleach.
    — And on Oct. 8, Duncan died.

    • Carter P Markham

      If this disease is only contracted through contact with bodily fluids, then the standard gloves should have been sufficient. They’re lying.

      • Margie

        Carter you show a complete lack of knowledge of patient care. If this man was projectile vomiting and having projectile diarrhea then gloves won’t be nearly enough. I think over the years, and I’ve been a nurse for 36, I’ve had every possible bodily fluid on me. If the nurses weren’t trained in the use of Hazmat suits, and there is no reason to think they were, and if they were only following standard precautions, I am positive that bodily fluids ended up on many health care workers. I know that in my hospital the actual caregivers have NOT received any information regarding Ebola or the use of Hazmat suits, much less the actual CDC protocols.

        • Esmae

          “Carter you show a complete lack of knowledge of patient care…..
          If the nurses weren’t trained in the use of Hazmat suits, and there is no reason to think they were…”

          Bingo! Then they shouldn’t be handling the patient placing themselves and the public at risk.

          It sounds like your blaming the nurse, but then you go on about the lack of proper training, how about blaming the medical community-> hospital, CDC & it’s leader for placing her in this situation by allowing this liar in the country?

          The US & Tom F claimed preparedness since July and this proves that they lied even about airborne potential, and most of us know viruses are airborne still we allow travel from the high risk countries instead of banning travel we’ll be exposing everyone on aircrafts, airports, and we all know how sparkling clean the jets are flight to flight.

  • Carter P Markham

    Or perhaps our government is lying through their teeth about how this disease is contracted. Perhaps it is an airborne disease afterall. We’ll find out after midterms, or after we’ve allowed ebola infected patients to cross our border by the dozens

    • Liberty

      Written like a true science denier. If only there was a cure for political blindness.

    • Liberty

      Written like a true science denier. If only there was a cure for political blindness.

  • My Side Of Town

    Don’t you folks realize that Obama and the CIA are actively working to overcome disease protocols and “build out” ebola from the initial hot zones? To use White House parlance, Dallas is their initial CONUS “carve-out”. Carve-outs are when the CIA injects a death squad into a country where they want to overrthrow the government and grab territory. Dallas is like Benghazi except instead Al Qaeda (ISIS) it’s ebola.
    .
    The White House frankly could give a damn about containment. They are actively creating hot zones on the same pattern they did using illegals spreading the enterovirus.
    .
    They are always one step ahead of the response in facilitating it’s spread… THAT’S IS HOW YOU CAN TELL IT’S BEING RUN BY FEDERAL COVERT AGENCIES FOLKS! The CDC are mere PR shills laying down a smokescreen of lies and misinformation.
    .
    They grow and spread ebola like they did ISIS. They would not have unleashed it in CONUS if the federal covert agencies coordinating OPERATION EBOLA were not already producing blood serum in enough quantities to vaccinate their core cadre of fellow international criminals.
    .
    All part of their ‘smart power” schema.
    .
    I’ll be that many or you don’t even know that Russian and Chinese speaking members of their fake “ISIS” contra army are being trained at bases in the USA right now.
    .
    The US government is in the midst of a multi-front war against everyone. Even big chunks of it’s own edifice. The reason it continues unimpeeded is because there are no such thing as journalists… ONLY OPERATIVES!

    • Liberty

      From your rant I am now afraid mental illness may be spreading like an epidemic.

      • My Side Of Town

        Describing criminal acts the White House is committing is not mental illness. Pointing it out in a hostile environment of their confederates may be.

      • Esmae

        Laughable comment, if not totally obvious you’re a damage control troll.
        Or perhaps you don’t fly much or you if you do your butt is in first class and not
        in sardine can portion of the plane.
        Actions speak louder then their words, and the actions of the US & UK & other Gov
        shows they doesn’t much care, it’s all good for business, as they continue to allow flights in from infected regions and lame ass closing the barn door, screening at arrivals.

  • michaelrivero

    The CDCs protocols are working about as well as Obamacare. Following those protocols, some 240 trained medical people have become infected with Ebola and about half of them have died. So clearly, it is the protocols that are the problem, and blaming the victims will not change that.

  • Fantazine Davol

    You take that back! Don’t dis the protocols! There is nothing wrong with the protocols. The protocols are perfect. You people just need to quit breeching the protocol you bunch of protocol breechers. Quit picking on the time tested protocols! You are all a bunch of anti-protocolites.

  • Kim E Morgan

    it requires a physicians order to prescribe medication, such as antibiotic, as well as discharge from a hospital. looks to me like the physician who made the decision to write these orders ” breeched” protocol. Regardless of the “first line” nurses assessment, which documented travel history, if that physician took a thourough history and assessment of the patient, AND was aware of current events at the time surrounding this deadly virus, she/he would not have made such a misguided clinical decision…..hence, “breech” in common sense “protocol”. It ended up being a very bad medical error. Yet now the nurse who “cared” for the patient “breeched” protocol. And wow, does she have to suffer the consequence.

  • Esmae

    “Even the CDC now admits that Ebola can be spread if a carrier coughs or sneezes …”

    And this is why the US, & UK are now screening at arrivals and not banning travel from high risk countries, no one ever coughs or sneezes on an aircraft!

    • GingerKat

      I wonder if it’s something they even considered… spreading the virus to USA
      soil, literally fauna and flora.

      • Esmae

        Yes would it not be fab to infect our soil, bats, birds, just marvellous!

  • GingerKat

    I think travel to the US from Africa ought to be banned until the CDC & WHO have a grip.

    http://1.usa.gov/Zqf3q9

  • SumerianQueen

    It looks like these folks are working for the Red Plague…