Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Nurses at Texas hospital: 'There were no protocols' about Ebola

by Catherine E. Shoichet, CNN1036 HKT)


Thomas Eric Duncan wasn't immediately isolated.

On the day that Thomas Eric Duncan was admitted to the hospital with possible Ebola symptoms, he was "left for several hours, not in isolation, in an area where other patients were present," union co-president Deborah Burger said.

Up to seven other patients were present in that area, the nurses said, according to the union.

A nursing supervisor faced resistance from hospital authorities when the supervisor demanded that Duncan be moved to an isolation unit, the nurses said, according to the union.

At first, protective gear nurses were wearing while treating Duncan left their necks exposed.

After expressing concerns that their necks were exposed even as they wore protective gear, the nurses were told to wrap their necks with medical tape, the union says.

"They were told to use medical tape and had to use four to five pieces of medical tape wound around their neck. The nurses have expressed a lot of concern about how difficult it is to remove the tape from their neck," Burger said.

At one point during Duncan's care, hazardous waste piled up.

"There was no one to pick up hazardous waste as it piled to the ceiling," Burger said. "They did not have access to proper supplies."

Nurses got no "hands-on" training about using protective gear.


"There was no mandate for nurses to attend training," Burger said, though they did receive an e-mail about a hospital seminar on Ebola.

"This was treated like hundreds of other seminars that were routinely offered to staff," she said.

The nurses "feel unsupported, unprepared, lied to and deserted."