Sunday, October 12, 2014
I believe the public is being given false assurances about the danger of the spread of Ebola in Dallas
The Dallas hospital, the judge, the mayor, the Texas governor and the CDC all tell us that there is no need to worry about Ebola spreading to the general population.
Of course, the hospital doesn't want multiple law suits, the judge and mayor don’t wish to see their city in panic, Governor Perry doesn't have a clue and the CDC would like to keep a cap on all information.
In another life I worked as an EMT for two years at Alert Ambulance in Lewiston, Maine. Because the local hospital was shorthanded, and to get experience, our EMTs often volunteered at the emergency room.
Lewiston is a relatively small city compared to Dallas. Our emergency room normally had from twenty to fifty people waiting treatment. Kids with runny noses; vagrants wishing just to get off the street; people with cuts, broken bones and those actually sick sat in hardback chairs in the waiting room waiting their turn for triage and treatment.
I am sure that the emergency room at the Dallas hospital serves a much larger population than the emergency room in Lewiston. (Because Governor Perry turning down the Medicaid reimbursement money from the federal government many Texans still must seek treatment from hospital emergency rooms.)
Now, let’s consider a series of questions concerning Mr. Duncan’s public exposure after developing contagious Ebola.
· What family members were exposed to Mr. Duncan after he developed a fever?
· Family members did not have a car, so was Mr. Duncan first trip to the hospital via public transportation or taxi? Did he exchange money?
· At the emergency room Mr. Duncan had to sign in and fill out a medical history which is usually attached to a clip board with a communal pen. How many other patients handled that clipboard and pen?
· Mr. Duncan sat in a chair in the waiting room and possibly drank from a water fountain. Who sat next to him and who occupied the chair after Mr. Duncan was being seen?
· The triage nurse took Mr. Duncan’s temperature and blood pressure before he was seen by a doctor or physician’s assistant. Did he or she check Mr. Duncan’s throat using a wooden paddle; and did he/she wear gloves? How many people were later seen by that triage nurse and doctor, and checked with the same equipment?
· How did Mr. Duncan return home?
· While infectious, did Mr. Duncan eat at restaurants or fast food eateries? If so, did money exchange hands and was silverware or drinking cups involved?
· While at home did Mr. Duncan kiss or have sex with his fiancé; share food with his family or hold the children?
· Did Mr. Duncan interact with any of the neighbors?
· When the ambulance crew came did they perform a stick (insert an IV – often a normal procedure?) What other interactions did the EMTs have with Mr. Duncan? How many other people were served by that ambulance and that crew on that day?
· At the hospital admission – before he had been diagnosed with Ebola – how many nurses, patients and doctors had contact with Mr. Duncan?
· When blood and urine was drawn was the hospital lab alerted that they were dealing with possible infectious Ebola fluids?
How many hundreds of people may have had contact with this infectious Ebola victim, and returned to their families and work environment, or traveled to other communities, unknowingly carrying the deadly time bomb of Ebola? Only time will tell us.
I believe these are answer the public has a right to know. Being told not to worry because protocols were, and are being followed is an attempt, for whatever reason, to dumb down the actual danger posed by the outbreak of this disease.