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Nurses Speak Out: Texas Health Presbyterian Was NOT Ready for Ebola

Two nurses who treated Thomas Duncan at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital have contracted Ebola. Now a group of nurses have come forward to say that it may be due to the fact the hospital was not prepared when the nation’s first Ebola victim came through the door.

In a statement published on National Nurses United, the nurses safe the hospital bungled things from the start and the lack of clear protocol is what may end up costing their fellow nurses now infected with Ebola their lives.

According to the nurses, even after Duncan was returned to the hospital the second time and Ebola was suspected, Duncan was still not isolated and there was no clear plan on how to protect others.

Lab specimens from Mr. Duncan were sent through the hospital tube system without being specially sealed and hand delivered. The result is that the entire tube system by which all lab specimens are sent was potentially contaminated.

There was no advance preparedness on what to do with the patient, there was no protocol, there was no system. The nurses were asked to call the Infectious Disease Department.  The Infectious Disease Department did not have clear policies to provide either.

They also said for the duration of the time spend caring for Duncan, the nurses felt unsafe and unsupported.

There was no one to pick up hazardous waste as it piled to the ceiling. They did not have access to proper supplies and observed the Infectious Disease Department and CDC themselves violate basic principles of infection control, including cross contaminating between patients. In the end, the nurses strongly feel unsupported, unprepared, lied to, and deserted to handle the situation on their own.

Despite the fact the hospital has admitted to making mistakes in the Duncan case, a spokesperson for Texas Health Presbyterian said that the nurses accusations are unfounded and that Duncan was immediately placed in isolation after his return and hazardous waste was handled appropriately at all times.

The nurses who have contracted Ebola treating Duncan are being transferred to other hospitals for care.

Photo Credit: Facebook (Nurses at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital)

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Tamar is a New York based freelance writer and photographer whose work has appeared in over 15 publications. You can catch her work regularly on Issue Hawk, Latest, Jspace, and MediaGlobal.