Too Much Protective Gear? Really?

[N]ot surprisingly,  Texas Health Presbyterian is fighting back this morning, protesting claims made yesterday by the Nurses’ Union in Texas that staff at Texas Health were given inadequate training and equipment. But Tom Frieden had this to say:

Dr. Tom Frieden, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, also said that breaches of protocols led to the infection of the two nurses, but added that nurses were wearing too much protective gear, increasing the difficulty of suiting up properly and increasing the risk of contamination while undressing. [emphasis added]

Yes, he actually said the nurses had ‘too much’ protection against a BSL-4 pathogen. The nurses had complained that protocol used while treating Thomas Eric Duncan left their necks exposed, and that they were told to ‘use medical tape’, which is permeable. With a virus that is measured in nanometers, you don’t want permeable, but you do want ‘covered’.

Healthcare cannot exist without nurses, so I suspect that both Texas Health and Frieden will be eating their words soon. In fact, the CDC’s response to the US outbreak hasn’t been stellar, so it wouldn’t surprise me to find Frieden resigning soon. It’s a shame to see anyone ‘take the fall’, but honestly, the CDC should have sent in a team right away or insisted that Duncan be evacuated to Emory right away.

Read the entire morning report via ​Ebola: Texas hospital denies breach of protocols – CBS News.