Patterico's Pontifications


Breach of Protocol? Try “No Protocol”

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 10:07 pm

This is a really good story — in the Los Angeles Times, of all places:

A Liberian man who arrived by ambulance at a Dallas hospital with symptoms of Ebola sat for “several hours” in a room with other patients before being put in isolation, and the nurses who treated him wore flimsy gowns and had little protective gear, nurses alleged Tuesday as they fought back against suggestions that one of their own had erred in handling him.

The statements came as Nina Pham, a 26-year-old nurse at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas, fought off the Ebola virus after contracting it from the Liberian, Thomas Eric Duncan. The statements by the Dallas hospital nurses were read by representatives of the Oakland-based group National Nurses United.

RoseAnn DeMoro, executive director of National Nurses United, said the nonunionized Texas nurses could not identify themselves, speak to the media independently or even read their statements over the phone because they feared losing their jobs. In a conference call, questions from the media were relayed to the unknown number of nurses by National Nurses United representatives, and the responses were read back to reporters.

DeMoro said all of the nurses had direct knowledge of what had transpired in the days after Duncan arrived at the hospital on Sept. 28.

I wish I could excerpt more; just go read it all. The whole story is devastating. In addition to the issues discussed in the first paragraph, we are told that Duncan’s lab specimens were sent through a common tube system and could have contaminated numerous other samples. One notable quote:

There was no advanced preparedness on what to do with the patient. There was no protocol; there was no system.

I will remind you once again what the Full-Time Golfer/Liar said on September 16:

In the unlikely event that someone with Ebola does reach our shores, we’ve taken new measures so that we’re prepared here at home. We’re working to help flight crews identify people who are sick, and more labs across our country now have the capacity to quickly test for the virus. We’re working with hospitals to make sure that they are prepared, and to ensure that our doctors, our nurses and our medical staff are trained, are ready, and are able to deal with a possible case safely.

I told you: these people lie like most people breathe.

UPDATE BY PATTERICO: Another double post.

Andrea Mitchell: Does Greg Abbott Really Need That Wheelchair? Wendy Davis: Gee, I Have Great Hair!

Filed under: General — Dana @ 9:52 pm

[guest post by Dana]

This certainly doesn’t bode well for blondes. As if Wendy Davis didn’t already reveal her lack of shame with that ad, she also failed to set the record straight regarding her opponent Greg Abbott and his disability when Andrea Mitchell made an ugly suggestion:

“Could you have gone after what you see as his hypocrisy by pointing out what he did in that rape case, what he did in these other cases, without the stark image of the empty wheelchair, which seemed to be trying to point people towards his own supposed disability?”


Nurses Do Not Believe They Have Been Sufficiently Trained And Prepared To Treat Ebola Patients

Filed under: General — Dana @ 8:40 pm

[guest post by Dana]

From a group statement released by the National Nurses United union after Thomas Eric Duncan’s attending nurse Nina Pham tested positive for Ebola:

There was no advance preparedness on what to do with the patient, there was no protocol, there was no system.

The union claims that because there were no protocols in place at the time of Thomas Duncan’s admittance to the hospital, nurses were put at great risk.

More troubling:

The guidelines were constantly changing and “there were no protocols” at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas as the hospital treated a patient with Ebola, the co-president of National Nurses United says. Protective gear nurses initially wore left their necks exposed; they felt unsupported and unprepared, and they received no hands-on training, co-president Deborah Burger says, citing information she said came from nurses at the hospital.

The hospital released a statement defending itself:

Patient and employee safety is our greatest priority and we take compliance very seriously. We have numerous measures in place to provide a safe working environment, including mandatory annual training and a 24-7 hotline and other mechanisms that allow for anonymous reporting.

And, in a survey conducted by the National Nurses United union, three out of four nurses do not believe they have been adequately educated on Ebola at their hospitals:

Out of more than 1,900 nurses in 46 states and Washington D.C. who responded, 76 percent said their hospital still hadn’t communicated to them an official policy on admitting potential patients with Ebola. And a whopping 85 percent said their hospital hadn’t provided educational training sessions on Ebola in which nurses could interact and ask questions.

The survey also found that 37 percent of nurses felt their hospital had insufficient supplies for containing the deadly virus, including face shields and goggles or fluid-resistant gowns.


CDC Changes Their Flawless Ebola Protocol

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:21 am

Guess what? The CDC has now changed their perfect protocol:

Ebola care instructions at a Dallas hospital and across the country were changed by federal officials on Monday — a tacit admission that training and procedures used for America’s first case of the disease had come up short.

The changes were prompted by the discovery that a nurse at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas had become infected while treating Thomas Eric Duncan, the Liberian man who died of Ebola in the hospital last Wednesday.

And the CDC director has apologized for making the “breach of protocol” comment — further evidence of the deserved backlash he faced for it:

“‘It is possible that workers will contaminate themselves’ in taking off protective clothing, said Dr. Frieden,” The Wall Street Journal reported. “He said he didn’t mean to be critical of anyone at the Dallas hospital when he spoke Sunday about a ‘breach in protocol.’”

Sure. Y’all breached protocol and got a nurse sick with a deadly virus, but we’re not criticizing!

The “breach of protocol” story was always questionable. ABC News has reported:

“The comments from CDC [the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention] early on that this could be done in any hospital that is used to doing isolation just doesn’t ring true to me,” ABC News chief health and medical editor Dr. Richard Besser said.

“Groups like Doctors Without Borders, they have incredible training in this, and they practice it, and it’s the practicing that ensures that you don’t have a slip-up,” he said. “For our first patient in America to lead already to a health care worker getting sick really raises a concern to me.”

But in the same ABC story, there is a video that asserts the hospital “admits” there was a breach of protocol at some point. Why would the hospital say something like this? They don’t know what any alleged breach of protocol would have been, any more than the federal government does.

What they do know, is that the hospital (like pretty much any business in America) is subject to regulatory reprisals if they step out of line. If they said anything about Duncan’s care that contradicted the federal government, there could be HIPAA fines. So, although a protocol breach looks increasingly unlikely, they can maintain that fiction, so that Obama can pretend to be angry and interested in knowing what happened . . . on his way to the golf course, naturally.

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