(Originally published at The Daily Sheeple.)
“We will stop Ebola in its tracks in the U.S.”
In the days following Ebola Patient Zero Thomas Duncan’s positive test results, Dr. Tom Frieden, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, reassured America with this line over and over and over on every mainstream media outlet that would let him.
To read this story (and any other stories I write about this topic from here on out) is to be forced to assume that we can trust what we’re being told in our news media and by our government officials — not something I’ve been very good at historically, and something I’m even worse at these days.
But let’s play along.
As I’ve maintained from the beginning, if officials were taking this Ebola outbreak seriously with the level of respect a real Ebola outbreak of this reported magnitude deserves, then from the beginning it has been handled as if we’re all living in the movie Idiocracy where common sense has long ago gone extinct. Or perhaps the people in charge all got together in a big room and watched the film Outbreak, just to find out what not to do and then do it all.
This whole Ebola situation has been playing out on the American stage like a bad horror film written by people with 9th grade educations who took a screenwriting class on the weekends at the local YMCA or something.
After Duncan’s nurse Nina Pham was diagnosed with Ebola, Dr. Frieden told everyone it was a breach in protocol that led to Pham getting infected. This is the same protocol Frieden had been working overtime to reassure America is so rigorous that it would stop the Ebola virus in its tracks. The same protocol which, obviously, failed on Duncan.
Well, according to the nurses working behind the scenes with Duncan at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital: “There was no protocol.”
NO protocol. Not just crappy protocol or lacking protocol, but no protocol whatsoever.
Just let that sink in for a minute…
As far as viruses go, Ebola is pretty high on the “murderous” list. We are repeatedly informed on a daily basis in the 24/7 fear cycle that Ebola is highly infectious and deadly, with this particular outbreak killing 70% of people in Africa who catch it. Of course, there is a difference in basics between a developing and developed nation, everything from water sanitation to nutrition between there and here, but again…
This whole situation gets more cartoonish by the day. The IQ level begins to drop from the very first question, “How did Ebola even get here in the first place?”
And these nurses, in a statement released by National Nurses United on Wednesday, painted a worse than stark, worse than stupid picture of the lack of protocol in place to deal with Ebola in a typical American hospital.
Here are a few quotes to give you an idea [emphasis added where bolded]:
(After Mr. Duncan was bought in the second time) “Mr. Duncan was left for several hours not in isolation, in an area with other patients. Subsequently, a nurse supervisor arrived and demanded that he be moved to an isolation unit, yet faced resistance from other hospital authorities.”
That means that every patient who was out in the waiting room and their family members could have potentially been put at risk, people who are going to the hospital so they likely already have compromised immune systems to begin with.
The nurse who tried to isolate Mr. Duncan faced resistance…for isolating someone who likely has Ebola? In a hospital where sick people go because they want to get better?
“Lab specimens from Mr. Duncan were sent through the hospital tube system without being specifically sealed and hand-delivered. The result is that the entire tube system, which all the lab specimens are sent, was potentially contaminated.”
Are there even words for this one? Talk about lack of level 4 containment measures… Why, if they even had an inkling that Duncan might have Ebola, would they do this to themselves and everyone else at that hospital?
“There was no advanced preparedness on what to do with the patient. There was no protocol, no system. The nurses were asked to call the Infectious Disease Department. The Infectious Disease Department did not have clear policies to provide either.”
The nurses were asked to call a department that didn’t have any answers? In the face of Ebola? That’s real movie-level asinine bureaucracy for you there.
I just picture that automated recording, “Press one if you might have a highly infectious, deadly Ebola patient and somehow you as a nurse have never been told how to handle this situation or what to do to make sure you and others don’t get killed, press two if…”
“Initial nurses who interacted with Mr. Duncan wore generic gowns used in contact-droplet isolation, front and back, three pairs of gloves with no taping around the wrists, surgical masks with the option of an N-95 and face shield.“
The “option” of an N-95 mask and face shield? THE OPTION?!?!?
“Some supervisors said that even the N-95 masks were not necessary.”
They said WHAT?! WHO IN THE HELL ARE THESE PEOPLE? HOW DID THEY GET THE TITLE OF SUPERVISOR AT A HOSPITAL? Ass kissing and brown nosing do not equate life-saving medical knowledge.
“The gowns they were given still exposed their necks, the parts closest to their face and mouth, they also left exposed the majority of their heads and their scrubs from the knees down.”
“After they recommended that the nurses wear isolation suits, the nurses raised questions and concerns about the fact that the skin on their neck was exposed. They were told to use medical tape and had to use four-to-five pieces of medical tape wound around their necks that is not impermeable and has permeable seams. The nurses have expressed a lot of concerns about how difficult it is to remove the tape from their necks, and are uncertain if it is being done safely.” [emphasis added]
Wow. That sounds very sophisticated. Everyone who works at this hospital should feel very safe and secure with the “ghetto medical tape noose” option at their disposal.
“Hospital managers have assured nurses that proper equipment has been ordered, but it has not arrived yet.”
That’s right. The proper equipment to do their jobs at a basic level still has not arrived yet.
Let’s see, the Ebola outbreak began in March, the CDC finally began releasing protocol in July, it’s October…this hospital just had a hand in the death of the first Ebola patient on U.S. soil in the history of time…yeah, this sounds totally reasonable.
“Nurses had to interact with Mr. Duncan with whatever protective equipment was available at the time when he had copious amounts of diarrhea and vomiting, which produces a lot of contagious fluids.”
So…the protocol was based on luck?
Did you ever play that game in school where you are given a list of items and told to pretend you are on a deserted island and you have to choose wisely what to take with you to survive? I feel like this hospital basically threw these nurses at Duncan and made them play Ebola Island with whatever they randomly had on hand, which you just read for yourself, isn’t close to the requisite protective gear required to handle Ebola.
If I lived in the area around this hospital and needed for any reason to go to a hospital, I would get in my car and drive the opposite direction from it, to another city hours away first before ever considering stepping foot one in the building. Or better yet, I might find some random guy on the street willing to put on a lab coat and wear a stethoscope to pretend he was a doctor for me. Sounds safer and more reliable than going here.
Seriously. These nurses should have all gone on strike or quit by now.
“Hospital officials allowed nurses who interacted with Mr. Duncan to then continue normal patient care duties taking care of other patients, even though they had not had the proper personal protected equipment while providing care for Mr. Duncan that was later recommended by the CDC.”
Oh dear Lord…
“Patients who may have been exposed were one day kept in strict isolation units, the next day they were ordered to be transferred out of strict isolation, and into areas where other patients, even those with low-grade fevers who could potentially be contagious.”
One whole day? Even though it can take Ebola up to 21 days to incubate? Why did they even bother with a single day? To pretend they know what isolation is?
“Were the protocols breached? The nurses say there were no protocols. Some hospital personnel were coming in and out of the isolation areas in the emergency department without having worn the proper protective equipment.”
No protocols? Based on this account, there were negative protocols (were it possible). I’m surprised people didn’t go through each patient room wiping Duncan’s tainted linens on the walls.
“There was no mandate for nurses to attend training or what nurses had to do in the event of arrival of a patient with Ebola-like symptoms.”
“The message to the nurses was, ‘It’s up to you.’ It is not up to the nurses to be setting the policy, the nurses say, in face of a virulent disease.”
“It’s up to you, nurses! You’re a nurse. You figure it out. Just don’t come crying to us, you know, the people in charge of this so-called ‘hospital’ when you wind up infected with a deadly virus that we, as a ‘hospital’ did nothing at all to protect you or our patients from.”
“They asked for supplies and they’re still unavailable after the Ebola crisis has begun.”
The fact that the nurses had to ask for supplies is beyond outrageous. Are the monkeys running the circus here? Have you seen how much a hospital charges its patients for a freaking aspirin these days?
Just… There aren’t words.
“Nurses have been left to train each other. Nurses have substantial concern that these conditions may very well lead to further infections of other nurses and patients.”
You can listen to the entire statement in the video below:
Remember, this is the hospital that sent Duncan home in the first place even though he showed up with Ebola symptoms and told the medical personnel he had just come here from Liberia which, anyone in this country who is even half paying attention to the news knows is facing what we’re being told is the deadliest Ebola outbreak in the history of the disease.
Not only that, but they sent him home with antibiotics. Even if he just had the flu, what are antibiotics going to do for a virus? Basic biology knowledge taught in most any elementary school says “nothing”.
And now we’re being told another nurse from that hospital who cared for Mr. Duncan has Ebola…and got on a plane from Cleveland to Dallas with a low-grade fever prior to her diagnosis.
At this point, I’m left to wonder: can any large building with beds in it slap a sign on the front door that says “hospital” and claim to be one these days?
And this is just one typical hospital in just one city in just one state in this country.
Where, by the way, are Duncan’s family members? These nurses keep getting it and they at least had some protective gear on when they came in contact with him. Duncan’s family members didn’t have any protection when they were enclosed in a tiny apartment with him after he was sent home from the hospital with full-blown Ebola symptoms for several days after the first time he tried to go to the hospital for treatment. Where are they? Are they doing okay?
From now on, just know that when the CDC director says “protocol was breached,” it’s another useless line out of his mouth that no one can believe because apparently there wasn’t any protocol at all. In fact, it was the CDC who told the second Ebola-infected nurse that it was okay if she flew.
If you feel like saying the ‘F’ word repeatedly at this point, you are not alone.
This whole situation is one giant clusterf— of ineptitude of the most moronic caliber.
Unless, of course, the people at the top know something the rest of us don’t…