‘Breach In Protocol’ Caused Second U.S. Ebola Infection
Of course it must be a Breach in Protocol. It couldn’t possibly be the Protocols are bad. – Shorty Dawkins, Associate Editor
by John Bacon, USA TODAY
A Dallas health care worker who provided care for the Ebola patient who died there last week tested positive for the deadly virus, and sent health officials scrambling Sunday to determine the “breach in protocol” that resulted in her infection.
The woman was among caregivers for Thomas Eric Duncan, who died Wednesday at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital.
Thomas Frieden, head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said Sunday his agency will investigate how a worker in full protective gear contracted the virus.
“At some point there was a breach in protocol,” Frieden said. “That breach in protocol resulted in this infection.”
Frieden cited four steps being taken by the CDC: ensuring the woman is cared for safely; identifying her contacts; treating all health care workers who cared for Duncan as having potentially been exposed; and reviewing procedures used to protect health care workers who treat Ebola patients.
Frieden called the positive test “very concerning” but stressed that the protocols for caring for Ebola patients are safe if done properly. He said that removing the gear incorrectly, for example, raises risk.
“This tells us there is a need to enhance training and to make sure protocols are followed,” he said. He said the CDC will study ways to reduce the number of health care workers involved in treatment, to reduce medical procedures — noting that kidney dialysis, for example, could increase risk — and to provide on-site monitoring to ensure that protocols are followed.