A top U.S. health official is under fire for pinning the blame on a “protocol breach” that caused a Dallas hospital health worker to be infected with the deadly Ebola virus.
Dr. Thomas Frieden, Director of Centers for Disease Control and Prevention called for an investigation Sunday, on how a nurse at the Texas Presbyterian Hospital acquired the virus despite wearing full protective gear. The nurse was infected while taking care of Liberian national Thomas Eric Duncan, the first man diagnosed with Ebola in the U.S. and died on Wednesday, Reuters reported.
He said that there was a possible breach of the standard operating procedures as the nurse took off her protective gear.
The CDC’s defense raised concerns on the readiness of U.S. hospitals as Ebola continues to spread, not just in West Africa where it has killed more than 4,000 but also in different parts of the world. Bonnie Castillo, a registered nurse and a disaster relief expert at National Nurses United, said that the government and hospitals should ensure that every medical staff know how to handle patients suspected with Ebola.
“You don’t scapegoat and blame when you have a disease outbreak,” said Castillo. “We have a system failure. That is what we have to correct.”
Dr. Gavin McGregor-Skinner of Pennsylvania State University, an expert in public health preparedness, also share the same sentiment as it only pins the blame to the nurse.
[quote text_size=”small” author=”–Dr. Gavin Macgregor-Skinner” author_title=”Public health expert”]
We haven’t provided [health workers] with a national training program. We haven’t provided them with the necessary experts that have actually worked in hospitals with Ebola,
The nurse, who is reportedly in stable condition at the Texas Presbyterian Hospital, was wearing the standard gown, gloves, mask, and eye-shield used for handling patients with Ebola. However, this only gives the health worker minimum amount of protection especially if it is in the last stages of the disease, Fox News reported.
Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings said the Dallas Fire Department has already disinfected the nurse’s home and informed her neighbors of the situation. The woman owns a King Charles Spaniel dog who does not show any symptoms of the virus. Rawlings said that the city government has plans of taking care of the dog.