Dallas Nurse’s Ebola Infection Due to Unidentified Breach of Protocol. Really?

Federal official assure us that contraction of Ebola by the nurse in Dallas was due to a breach of protocol.  But the same article goes on to say they have not yet identified a breach.

If the second statement is true, then the first necessarily must be disingenuous.  As a matter of simple logic, there are two ways the nurse could have contracted the disease: (1) breach of protocol, as federal officials would have us believe, or (2) inadequacy of the protocol, which federal officials do not want us to contemplate.  I am no medical expert, and I have no idea which of the two possibilities actually accounts for the nurse’s disease.  But over 37 years of practicing law has given me what I indelicately refer to as a bullshit meter.

That meter red lines when someone gives me assurances on a matter about which they themselves have admitted they are ignorant.  That’s what the federal officials have done here.  If they have not identified a protocol that was breached, they cannot possibly know that breach of protocol is the cause.  Without identifying a particular breach, they cannot possibly rule out inadequacy of the protocol.  They are just telling us what they want us to believe.  In so doing, they undermine their credibility at the worst possible time.  That is contemptible behavior.

3 thoughts on “Dallas Nurse’s Ebola Infection Due to Unidentified Breach of Protocol. Really?

  1. The protocol itself is not inadequate, since it has been used for over 20 years with over a dozen outbreaks in Africa successfully contained.

    It’s possible the nurses at Dallas Presbyterian were inadequately trained. The minimum training required is a part of the CDC protocol. There have also been stories, and I don’t know if they are accurate, that not all nurses were working “buddy system” style. It’s vital to have a second person spraying you down with disinfectant and inspecting when you are removing gear after treating. That’s the most dangerous phase – getting out of contaminated suits and disposing of them safely.

    Because the first patient was sent away after a misdiagnosis, the hospital is pretty obviously in for a medical negligence lawsuit. They’ve been in damage control mode for some time, putting out inadequate explanations like “It’s the software’s fault.” Those pesky computers. If only they would let us do our job…

    (I’m a medical imaging tech. I’ve worked in ICUs around airborne pathogens, far easier to catch than Ebola though less deadly.)

  2. Pingback: African Ebola-Containment Standards Higher Than American Standards | Kenneth Bennight

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