Texas hospital 'never talked about Ebola' before Thomas Duncan arrived

A nurse at the Texas hospital that treated dead Ebola patient Thomas Duncan claims that the hospital never talked about Ebola protocols before the first patient was identified.

The hospital claimed that they had drilled in Ebola protocols before Thomas Duncan became a patient. The nurse, Brianna Aguirre, who cared for her friend, the second Ebola patient Nina Pham, says "“I watched them violate basic principles of nursing."

NBC:

"I would try anything and everything to refuse to go there to be treated. I would feel at risk by going there. If I don’t actually have Ebola, I may contract it there," she said. 

Administrators never discussed with staff how the hospital would handle an Ebola case prior to Duncan’s arrival, Aguirre alleged.

“We never talked about Ebola and we probably should have,” she said. Instead, “they gave us an optional seminar to go to. Just informational, not hands on. It wasn’t even suggested we go … We were never told what to look for.”

"I expected more out of us," Aguirre said.

Earlier in the week, a union that says it represents nurses in every state criticized the hospital, saying that protocols to protect workers were not in place.

Aguirre said she never dealt directly with Duncan, who was initially put in an area with “up to seven other patients,” but she talked with colleagues who did work directly with the patient. She said there was mass confusion over procedures, including how to handle Duncan's lab work.

“It was just a little chaotic scene. Our infectious disease department was contacted to ask, what is our protocol. And their answer was, we don’t know. We’re going to have to call you back,” she said.

Aguirre did take care of Pham, the first of two nurses who contracted Ebola while caring for Duncan. Aguirre said she was shocked by the insufficient protective gear she was provided. The hospital provided gloves, protective gowns and a mask but a gap of several inches around her neck was left exposed.

“I’ll be honest, I threw a fit. I just couldn’t believe it,” she said. “In the second week of an Ebola crisis at my hospital, the only gear they were offering us at that time, and up until that time, is gear that is allowing our necks to be uncovered?”

She said she asked several infectious disease nurses and CDC officials about the suits but never got a response.

The hospital apoloigized for some "errors" but still insists it followed all CDC protocols:

A top official at the Texas hospital where Ebola patient Thomas Eric Duncan died and two nurses contracted the deadly virus is apologizing to Congress for his facility’s “mistakes” in handling the highly contagious disease.

A transcript of testimony by Dr. Daniel Varga, chief clinical officer of the hospital’s parent chain Texas Health Resources, is expected to be presented at noon Thursday before the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations.

“Unfortunately, in our initial treatment of Mr. Duncan, despite our best intentions and a highly skilled medical team, we made mistakes,” Varga’s testimony reads. “We did not correctly diagnose his symptoms as those of Ebola. We are deeply sorry.”

Is it any wonder there is anxiety and concern over whether health officials have a handle on the crisis? Weeks prior to Duncan's admittance to the hospital, the CDC was bombarding health care workers and facilities with paperwork on how to treat Ebola patients. The fact that Texas Health failed so spectacularly is proof that the protocols are garbage and need to be adjusted.

The more facts that emerge on how CDC and hospitals are dealing with the crisis, there is less confidence in their abilities to get on top of the situation.

 

A nurse at the Texas hospital that treated dead Ebola patient Thomas Duncan claims that the hospital never talked about Ebola protocols before the first patient was identified.

The hospital claimed that they had drilled in Ebola protocols before Thomas Duncan became a patient. The nurse, Brianna Aguirre, who cared for her friend, the second Ebola patient Nina Pham, says "“I watched them violate basic principles of nursing."

NBC:

"I would try anything and everything to refuse to go there to be treated. I would feel at risk by going there. If I don’t actually have Ebola, I may contract it there," she said. 

Administrators never discussed with staff how the hospital would handle an Ebola case prior to Duncan’s arrival, Aguirre alleged.

“We never talked about Ebola and we probably should have,” she said. Instead, “they gave us an optional seminar to go to. Just informational, not hands on. It wasn’t even suggested we go … We were never told what to look for.”

"I expected more out of us," Aguirre said.

Earlier in the week, a union that says it represents nurses in every state criticized the hospital, saying that protocols to protect workers were not in place.

Aguirre said she never dealt directly with Duncan, who was initially put in an area with “up to seven other patients,” but she talked with colleagues who did work directly with the patient. She said there was mass confusion over procedures, including how to handle Duncan's lab work.

“It was just a little chaotic scene. Our infectious disease department was contacted to ask, what is our protocol. And their answer was, we don’t know. We’re going to have to call you back,” she said.

Aguirre did take care of Pham, the first of two nurses who contracted Ebola while caring for Duncan. Aguirre said she was shocked by the insufficient protective gear she was provided. The hospital provided gloves, protective gowns and a mask but a gap of several inches around her neck was left exposed.

“I’ll be honest, I threw a fit. I just couldn’t believe it,” she said. “In the second week of an Ebola crisis at my hospital, the only gear they were offering us at that time, and up until that time, is gear that is allowing our necks to be uncovered?”

She said she asked several infectious disease nurses and CDC officials about the suits but never got a response.

The hospital apoloigized for some "errors" but still insists it followed all CDC protocols:

A top official at the Texas hospital where Ebola patient Thomas Eric Duncan died and two nurses contracted the deadly virus is apologizing to Congress for his facility’s “mistakes” in handling the highly contagious disease.

A transcript of testimony by Dr. Daniel Varga, chief clinical officer of the hospital’s parent chain Texas Health Resources, is expected to be presented at noon Thursday before the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations.

“Unfortunately, in our initial treatment of Mr. Duncan, despite our best intentions and a highly skilled medical team, we made mistakes,” Varga’s testimony reads. “We did not correctly diagnose his symptoms as those of Ebola. We are deeply sorry.”

Is it any wonder there is anxiety and concern over whether health officials have a handle on the crisis? Weeks prior to Duncan's admittance to the hospital, the CDC was bombarding health care workers and facilities with paperwork on how to treat Ebola patients. The fact that Texas Health failed so spectacularly is proof that the protocols are garbage and need to be adjusted.

The more facts that emerge on how CDC and hospitals are dealing with the crisis, there is less confidence in their abilities to get on top of the situation.