Missteps in U.S. Ebola Protection Plan Continue

Ebola virus

Ebola virus

Let’s see: A nurse who cared for a dying Ebola patient is allowed to fly on a commercial flight days later despite having a low-grade fever. Another worker who handled the patient’s lab specimens takes a cruise and has to be quarantined aboard the ship. Officials with the hospital where the man died admit nurses were never given Ebola training. Is this how the U.S. thinks it will protect citizens against this disease?

The head of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) told a Congressional panel this week that he remains “confident that Ebola is not a significant public health threat to the United States,” but he did admit the agency should have responded quicker to the Dallas case.

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“We could have sent a more robust hospital infection-control team and been more hands-on with the hospital from day one,” said Thomas Frieden, M.D., at a  press conference, the New York Times reported.

The agency also should have followed its own protocols. The second Dallas health care worker was given permission by a CDC official to fly on a commercial flight despite running a temperature, the Washington Post reported. After she returned, she tested positive for Ebola, and the airlines and officials scrambled to find all passengers on her flight back to Texas.

A hospital lab worker who may have handled the Ebola patient’s fluid samples had to be quarantined on board a cruise ship until the worker could be safely removed. The worker took the cruise before the CDC stepped up its monitoring of those who may have come into contact with the patient who died.

And a nurses’ union lambasted the Dallas hospital for putting nurses’ health and safety on the frontline without having Ebola protocols in place to protect them. A top hospital official confirmed in the Congressional hearing that nurses were never given Ebola training; he also apologized for “mistakes” made in the man’s original diagnosis and for providing inaccurate information about the hospital’s response.

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The events are the latest in a series of missteps among health authorities in handling the spread of the disease to the U.S.

Other problems in preventing the spread of the disease here continue.

  •  A stunning 85 percent of nurses say their hospital hasn’t provided educational training sessions on Ebola in which nurses could interact and ask questions, according to a survey by National Nurses United, the country’s largest professional association of registered nurses, NBC News reported. Some 37 percent of nurses felt their hospitals had insufficient protective supplies, including face shields and goggles or fluid-resistant gowns.
  • Two hospital workers who cared for an Ebola patient in Dallas have tested positive for the disease, despite their having worn protective gear, and health officials still are unsure exactly how they were exposed to the virus.  Nina Pham, 26, was one of those who took care of Thomas Eric Duncan, the Liberian man who died from Ebola at Texas Presbyterian Hospital. CDC officials said that a “breach in protocol” — perhaps in how she removed her gear after contact with Duncan — may be to blame. Even the smallest slip in removing contaminated garments that came in contact with a patient’s bodily fluids can put a person at risk of infection.
  • Hospital records reveal that Duncan came to the ER with all the classic signs of the dangerous disease, despite the Dallas hospital’s initial statements that he was sent home because his symptoms were mild and flu-like.  He had a 103-degree fever, bad headache and severe abdominal pain, making him highly contagious when he was mistakenly discharged. He also told the hospital he was from Liberia, where the epidemic is raging, yet he wasn’t placed in isolation.
  • The health care system apparently hasn’t been focused on the threat of Ebola spreading here. Frieden said the CDC is now “doubling down” on Ebola training and support for hospitals and health care workers, and making sure U.S. hospitals “think Ebola,” including isolating those who have been to Liberia, Sierra Leone or Guinea.

 

 

Photo: glOck/iStock

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24 comments
IMCONCERNED
IMCONCERNED 5pts

Now that we have a Ebola Czar and the CDC has published recommendations for caring for Ebola patients in the U.S.  the administration may be preparing to admit non-U.S. citizens to the United States for treatment of the Ebola Virus Disease. 

 A published sensitive but unclassified predesicional memo from the State Dept suggests such a program.

The published memo is thorough outlining 4 essential elements to EVERY medical evacuation

1.  medical evacuation capacity

2. overflight, refueling and landing permission

3. a hospital able and willing to treat patients

4. finds to backstop reimbursement, about $200,000 for medevac and 4300,000 for treatment per case.

IF this information is true, it will be interesting to see the response from our citicizens.

ks1494
ks1494 5pts

If we don't pull our heads out of our butts and make COMMON SENSE decisions about ebola patient handling and medical professional training in this country, we will have a problem on our hands. So far, a big fat F- for the Dallas hospital and the CDC!

IMCONCERNED
IMCONCERNED 5pts

Let's see:

On Friday, the White House announced President Obama appointed Ron Klain as Ebola Czar, the point-man on the Ebola crisis.

 Klain was not invited to the urgent White House Ebola meeting on Friday evening  that included...

The Vice President

Secretary of Defense, the Secretary of Health and Human Services, 

  Secretary of Homeland Security

 Chief of Staff, the  Director of the Office of Management and Budget, the Counselor to the President

  National Security Advisor, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff,

  Permanent U.S. Representative to the United Nations (via secure video conference)

  Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy, the  Director of the Center for Disease Control and Prevention

 Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism

 Administrator of the U.S. Agency for International Development

 State Department Ebola Coordinator

 Director of the Office of Legislative Affairs

 Director of Communications

Joshua Earnest, Press Secretary

Executive Secretary and Chief of Staff of the National Security Council

 National Security Council Legal Advisor

 Deputy Assistant to the President for Homeland Security

Another misstep?

2Papa
2Papa 5pts

This ebola threat is really scary!

behrhorn
behrhorn 5pts

Why don't we have a Surgeon General anymore?  That person had done a good job educating people about health hazards, etc.  Oh wait! The republicans are bowing to the teabagers and won't confirm the President's choice because he said guns are health hazard.  I know some but do others know of accidental gun victims?

IMCONCERNED
IMCONCERNED 5pts

I found this interesting article from 2013..... "Obama Sitting On Life-saving OSHA Rules–Work Related Diseases Cost Taxpayers $250 Billion A Year "  The so called quandray is not just funding but lack of action.....

kn6576
kn6576 5pts

Why is the US expected to come up with the answer to every global problem? This issue won't be resolved without a massive GLOBAL response.

Few people seem today to understand the magnitude of this threat. Using a simple spreadsheet I calculated that the rate of infection from the origin in December, 2013 to 8,000 cases roughly 46 weeks later is 1.22 new infections per current one. IF that rate is not slowed down, the entire planet of 7 billion people will be infected by roughly February 2016, less than a year and a half from now. This is just basic math. Consider that with around a 50% fatality rate, the global economy will be devastated. We all need to pitch in to deal with it NOW!

(And not with half-hearted measures like taking temperatures in 5 airports).

There are many charities that are collecting money and sending volunteers to help (World Vision, Samaritan's Purse, American Red Cross, to name a few). I encourage people to support them as much as possible in their efforts.

IMCONCERNED
IMCONCERNED 5pts

Thomas Frieden, M.D., head of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, failed to send a team from the CDC to the Dallas hospital caring for Mr Duncan to observe treatment and proper protocol.

As for the National Institutes of Health director ,Francis Collins, M.D., he should explain why cuts to his budget never stopped wasteful spending.

 $500,000 to study  mothers dancing with their daughters can fight obesity

$700,000 examines how taxes, trade and politics affect tobacco sales in nations in Southeast Asia.

$325,525 found wives would be happier if they could calm down faster during arguments with their husbands

$423,500  why men don't like to wear condoms

$400,000 study in bars in Buenos Aires to find out why gay men engage in risky sexual behavior  while drunk

$2.6 million study dedicated to teaching prostitutes in China to drink less while having sex on the job

$178,000 understand why drug abusing prostitutes in Thailand are at greater risk for HIV infection.

$939,771  discovered male fruit flies are more sexually attracted to younger female fruit flies

$666,905 for a study into why people enjoy watching re-runs of old TV shows

$702,558  impact of televisions and gas generators on villages in Vietnam

evandkenwood
evandkenwood 5pts

we are seniors both in our 70s we both have voted in all elections,but at this point in time we will not and don't want to be counted by either party we at this POINTt in our lives feel that neither the republican or the democrat party has done anything concrete in nature to make the living conditions better for the seniors and the middle class citizens  NOTHING AT ALL THERE IS NO JOB OPPORTUNITIES FOR WORKERS THE ECONOMY IS DEAD IT DOES NOT SUPPLY THE PAY IN MOST CASES TO MAKE ALIVING WAGE congress although waned about the total inability to work together still feel that they should be paid for producing nothing but grid lock this up coming election we seniors banning together can REPLACE ALL THE DEAD WOOD IN CONGRESS SENIORS AND ALL CITIZENS LET US ALLVOTE TO ELIMINATE THE CONSTANTBICKERING IN CONGRESS BY REPLACING ALL THE PEOPLE THAT HAVE DONE NOTHING FOR OUR COUNTRY

myexper
myexper 5pts

@IMCONCERNED 

The program would be for non US citizens WHO WORK FOR THE US GOVERNMENT OR ITS AGENCIES, LIKE THE CDC, assisting the US government in it's fight against Ebola. You conveniently failed to mention this important fact which negates the negative response you were seeking "from our citizens".

myexper
myexper 5pts

@IMCONCERNED  Misstep? I don't think so.

Klain had not yet started his new roll.

I have seen your (and similar) propagandist accusations in right wing extremist publications, where you copied your info from.

myexper
myexper 5pts

@IMCONCERNED  The "so called quandray" is with yourself and the Republicans you support. You criticize government regulations and then criticize for lack of regulation. This makes no sense. You can't have it both ways.

InsertCleverNameHere
InsertCleverNameHere 5pts

@IMCONCERNED Interesting viewpoint from the Tea Party--the very same people who deny climate change and want FEWER regulations, abolishment of the EPA, etc.  Let's face it, if Obama discovered a cure for cancer that did not involve drugs he would be criticized for trying to run the pharmaceutical companies out of business. 

myexper
myexper 5pts

@IMCONCERNED 


To imconcerned:

You (conveniently) forget the $25 BILLION your Republicans wasted with their government shutdown last year, which hurt the capabilities of numerous government agencies like the CDC.

josan48
josan48 5pts

@IMCONCERNED STUNNING FACTS!  Thank you for shedding REAL factual light on the subject!  Being a nurse, we MUST stand together and demand better education.


IMCONCERNED
IMCONCERNED 5pts

The list is correct, not propaganda, and the invitation should have been extended to assist Klain. 

IMCONCERNED
IMCONCERNED 5pts

Perhaps it's better to stay on topic, OSHA....or do left wingers want to elimate OSHA?

IMCONCERNED
IMCONCERNED 5pts

It doesn't cost agencies like CDC $25 billion to write procedures IF they know what they are doing.

myexper
myexper 5pts

@josan48 @IMCONCERNED 

If you think these are "stunning facts", look at the $25 BILLION OF TAXPAYER MONEY WASTED AWAY IN THE 16 DAY REPUBLICAN GOVERNMENT SHUTDOWN LAST OCTOBER. 

WASTING $25 BILLION IN ONLY 16 DAYS IS A FAR, FAR MORE STUNNING FACT!

myexper
myexper 5pts

@IMCONCERNED 

The action of developing this list, criticizing the non attendance of Klain with the knowledge that Klain had not yet started his new roll and failure to mention this all important fact, constitutes a selective half truth .... or propaganda. And the source of this contrived information is a highly biased extremist right wing Tea Party publication .... a bible to those who hold the same ideology, but a highly questionable source to others.

InsertCleverNameHere
InsertCleverNameHere 5pts

@IMCONCERNED I was on topic.  Actually, it's the right wingers who wanted to do away with OSHA, FAA, IRS and every other gov't agency that is not of direct benefit to the Koch bros. and other crooks who simply buy the government.  Greed is the only motivating factor for their ilk.  Follow the money if you want their current stand on the issues.

myexper
myexper 5pts

@IMCONCERNED  The $25 BILLION your Republicans wasted with their 16 day government shutdown hurt all Americans and ALL government agencies. The figures you posted are pale in comparison to $25 BILLION REPUBLICANS WASTED.

You attack a sliver in another's eye while failing to see a massive log in your own.

IMCONCERNED
IMCONCERNED 5pts

The topic was President Obama holding back OSHA work related safety rules. 

myexper
myexper 5pts

@IMCONCERNED  You bring up a highly regulatory agency (OSHA) and criticize President Obama for not acting on more regulations. But yet you support Republicans who condemn regulations and, like your own earlier statements, blame regulations for the loss of jobs. Your new posting here contradicts your own professed beliefs. You criticize the President for implementing regulations and then criticize the President for not implementing more regulations.