October 12, 2014 12:01 pm -

Tom Frieden said on “Face the Nation” that a second Ebola case shows that there was “clearly a breach of protocol.”

We have the ability to prevent the spread of Ebola by caring safely for patients,” he said. “We know from many years of experience that it’s possible to care for patients with Ebola safely without risk to healthcare workers. But we also know that it’s hard, and that even a single breach can result in contamination.”

Frieden said that the most likely culprit was the removal of hazmat gear, a process during which a health worker could come into contact with contaminated fluids.[su_csky_ad]

D.B. Hirsch
D.B. Hirsch is a political activist, news junkie, and retired ad copy writer and spin doctor. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.

40 responses to CDC Director: ‘Clearly A Breach Of Protocol’ In New Ebola Case

  1. edmeyer_able October 12th, 2014 at 12:07 pm

    Unless they were videoing the entire time and can review the procedures that were conducted how can they be certain?

    • M D Reese October 12th, 2014 at 12:24 pm

      I saw a comment yesterday claiming that there was a picture of the health workers that showed one of them with an open zipper on their hazmat suit. Wouldn’t you know that this would have to be in Texas–a State not known for being fond of rules and regs.

      • ChrisVosburg October 12th, 2014 at 3:52 pm

        Don’t know if it’s the same one I saw, which was of one of the clean-up guys at Duncan’s apartment, diligently tidying up–

        with the sleeves of his hazmat suit rolled up.

        C’mon, guys, PAY ATTENTION!

        • M D Reese October 12th, 2014 at 5:07 pm

          I love how the hospital sent him home with a fever of 103. I wonder why? No insurance?

          • ChrisVosburg October 12th, 2014 at 6:16 pm

            I dunno, MD, but ER physicians typically neither know nor care how it’s being paid for– that’s more of an administrative thing.

            But it certainly doesn’t dismiss the possibility that the physician of record treating Duncan was “very busy” that night, and sought to clear the decks, so to speak, for the usual crop of Thursday night dumbass Texans busily shooting themselves or their friends in the foot.

            I wanna make one thing clear though: this is the ultimate responsibility of the single ER physician who treated and released Duncan, and not the admitting triage nurse, or the EMR system, or any other number of red herrings thrown up by the hospital or local health officials.

            I don’t see any other way to see this than as gross incompetence, topped off by the prescription of antibiotics for what was diagnosed as an unspecific viral infection. I’m not a doctor, and even I know that antibiotics are useless for treating viral infection. WTF?

            Duncan’s inability to provide an accurate patient history has come up elsewhere here as a contributor to the misdiagnosis, and again, this is just bullshit. Although it’d be nice, no patient can be expected to diagnose himself, that’s what doctors are for. Jeez, have these Texas doctors not seen even one House episode?

            And again, it doesn’t matter what Duncan did or did not say. The releasing physician must have noticed that his patient presenting with viral infection spoke english with a delightful West African lilt (or maybe he just dully registered “hm, he don’t seem to be from around here”), and together with everything his literature was telling him about Ebola and West Africa, that in itself should have been enough to set off alarms in the poor dope’s head.

            Sorry, he’s just gonna have to accept ultimate blame. Remember what I said above about assigning blame?


          • M D Reese October 12th, 2014 at 8:59 pm

            The first thing my local hospital asks is how you will be paying for your visit, and what is your religion.

          • whatthe46 October 12th, 2014 at 9:21 pm

            it wasn’t until recently that i figured out why or rather what one reason may be, and that is if you were to be on your dying bed they could get a minister of your faith to pray for you. just a guess. i suppose it didn’t/doesn’t matter what reason you go into the hospital, the fact that you’re there and something can go wrong.

          • M D Reese October 12th, 2014 at 9:29 pm

            As a lifelong atheist I found it irritating.

    • tiredoftea October 12th, 2014 at 12:47 pm

      Here’s the WaPo articel which describes it:

      • edmeyer_able October 12th, 2014 at 12:58 pm

        After reading that article it would seem prudent to start videoing every minute the person is cared for and the decon steps taken when the caretaker is through for the day.

        • tiredoftea October 12th, 2014 at 1:02 pm

          And, to have actual trained medical personnel who will follow the established protocols!

        • mea_mark October 12th, 2014 at 1:09 pm

          I would suggest ultraviolet lights on in the room that kills the virus. Kill it as it tries to escape the host. You can’t take too many precautionary measures form my point of view.

          • tiredoftea October 12th, 2014 at 2:31 pm

            It’s Texas, the patients are lucky that they have regular lights!

          • mea_mark October 12th, 2014 at 2:46 pm

            If the Koch brothers could figure out how to use tar sands oil for lighting …

          • tracey marie October 12th, 2014 at 8:59 pm

            really, Texas has one of the highest rated medical centers in the world. Let’s not be ridiculous to sound clever

          • tiredoftea October 12th, 2014 at 11:16 pm

            That would be the one that let an Ebola carrier out the door only to infect another? Dial back the sensitive.

          • tracey marie October 13th, 2014 at 12:45 pm

            really, he lied and said he had no contact and only had a fever which is not unusual

          • ChrisVosburg October 13th, 2014 at 1:03 pm

            Tracy, you’re repeating a lie you’ve already been caught out at.

            Again, either provide evidence that Duncan knew at the time of infection that the pregnant neighbor he helped from a car to her home was carrying the Ebola virus, or STFU.

            Additionally, as I’ve pointed out downthread, ultimate responsibility in Duncan’s case falls not to Duncan himself, but to the idiot ER physician who, in treating a patient presenting early symptoms of Ebola, and known to have recently come from West Africa, inexplicably merely diagnosed him with a unspecified viral infection, and released him with an antibiotic scrip.

            By way of reminder, any doctor oughta know that antibiotics are useless for treatment of viral infections of any type.

          • Candide Thirtythree October 13th, 2014 at 4:39 am

            He is probably talking about the constant power outages because TX sold all of its utilities to for profit corporations, it is so bad that they have had to start buying electricity from MEXICO! Yea, TX is that bad.

          • tracey marie October 13th, 2014 at 12:43 pm

            Not all and no we do not buy power from Mexico. These are big cities not border towns.

          • Candide Thirtythree October 13th, 2014 at 12:59 pm

            That is not what the newspapers say.

          • tracey marie October 13th, 2014 at 8:41 pm

            In 2011 in an emergency because of a defective energy station. Nothing more then that

          • ChrisVosburg October 13th, 2014 at 10:58 am

            Good to see Texan Exceptionalism is alive and well (it’s like American Exceptionalism, only, well, bigger, because this is Texas we’re talking about, pardner).

            In any case, biggest does not equal best. Yes, The Texas Medical Center in Houston is the biggest medical complex in the world, and its motto is typically Texan: “World Leaders In Patient Care, Research, Education, and Prevention since 1945,” so see, says so right on the package.

            Unsurprisingly, Tracey, mention of this googolplex does nothing to address the problems we’re talking about here, which won’t be solved by boasting about how big our, uh, hats are.

          • tracey marie October 13th, 2014 at 12:42 pm

            oh brother, now you feel the need to lie to make a point. Texas has the cancer, heart and neorology centers which are world reknown and rated in the top 3 in the country. Your ridiculous “exceptionalism” comment is hilarious. Facts are facts, just because you hate Texas does not make you correct on this issue. Grow up

          • ChrisVosburg October 13th, 2014 at 1:21 pm

            Don’t call me a liar again unless you’re willing to specify the statement I’ve made here which you perceive to be a lie.

          • tracey marie October 13th, 2014 at 8:40 pm


          • ChrisVosburg October 13th, 2014 at 11:19 pm

            Brilliant riposte, Tracy; well said.

          • ChrisVosburg October 12th, 2014 at 3:43 pm

            Good idea– with the caveat that although the degree of disinfection is significant, full sterilization may not necessarily be accomplished. But nevertheless, good idea.

            There is also a nifty little product called GloGerm which may be helpful in identfying contaminated surfaces with UV light.

          • Candide Thirtythree October 13th, 2014 at 4:36 am

            Hahahah I LOVE that, I bought it to teach my students about hand washing and the spread of germs. I would sprinkle the Mylar powder on a couple of surfaces around the room before they came in in the morning then use the black light at the end of the day to show them just how far germs travel. The kids were always complaining about one little girl digging in her nose and eating buggers, both nostrils and around her mouth were glowing and one of the kids said see we told you!
            I would be covered in the glow too because of all the hugs I got during the day.

            The GloGerm kit was one of the few things that I kept when I retired.

    • Gindy51 October 12th, 2014 at 12:59 pm

      Doctors and nurses are very lax in washing hands in between non Ebola patients. Who could expect them to suddenly get in line with standard hygiene even with something as dangerous as Ebola. This is the kind of practice that has to be done every single time with every single patient.

  2. Carla Akins October 12th, 2014 at 12:49 pm

    The infected nurse in Spain, originally stated she had no idea how she could have contracted the disease. Since then, she has admitted that she touched her face with gloves on in an unconscious move to wipe the sweat away.

    • ChrisVosburg October 12th, 2014 at 3:31 pm

      Yep, first thing I thought of in our Dallas health worker’s case. The protective clothing is fine, but it’s just too easy and natural a movement, when removing the gear, to remove the hood and gloves, and then immediately and reflexively dust that damned eyelash out of the eye which has been driving you crazy for the last hour.

      In response to this, new training guidelines have been issued about the use of a “buddy system” to remove the gear– i.e., have a fellow worker remove your gear, so you never actually touch an exposed surface with your own bare hand.

      Good idea. See, that’s problem solving– identify the problem, then modify behavior to insure it doesn’t repeat. Although there are some who characterize this as unfairly “assigning blame,” I emphasize, as an engineer both by trade and inclination, that assigning blame is what problem solving is all about.

      • Carla Akins October 12th, 2014 at 3:52 pm

        You’re right, the focus needs to be on how to fix. Jon Stewart had a doctor on last week, a surgeon that had written a book on palliative care, but Jon asked him about Ebola.

        The very interesting part was about the “checklist”. He said we’ve long known how to reduce the spread of the flu, mrsa, legionnaires, all the communicable diseases that too often infect and sometimes kill unnecessarily. Hand washing, gloving up, not touching our face and then a doorknob, staying home when sick, getting a flu shot, etc

        The problem is that we don’t follow the checklist. His thought was if nothing else we would now reduce infecting each other with everything by more closely following the checklist. A girl can hope anyway.

    • Robert M. Snyder October 12th, 2014 at 6:10 pm

      My wife has been an R.N. since 1981. Twice in her career, she got accidental needle sticks. The first time was her fault and involved a needle from an elderly female patient. The other time was a coworker’s fault and involved a needle from a young, male patient. Immediate AIDS testing with a six-month follow-up, and no hanky-panky for six months. Fortunately the tests were clear.

      S**t happens, especially when you’re short-staffed and pressed for time.

      • Carla Akins October 12th, 2014 at 6:36 pm

        I understand, I was only noting that it was such a common subconscious reaction – to wipe away sweat that she didn’t even recall doing so.

        • Robert M. Snyder October 12th, 2014 at 6:58 pm

          Lack of clarity on my part. Sorry. I added my comments to back up your point about unconscious movements.

          • Carla Akins October 12th, 2014 at 7:00 pm

            We’re on the same page. 🙂

  3. edmeyer_able October 12th, 2014 at 4:00 pm

    margaret stuart md ‏@marstu67 2m2 minutes ago
    Today: CDC Head suggests Ebola victims in US be treated only at centers with experienced and specialized units.

    • fancypants October 13th, 2014 at 3:01 am

      at their expense of course. Better make sure you have 500k in the bank or your insurance with a 100k limit

  4. Candide Thirtythree October 13th, 2014 at 4:26 am

    I once saw a nurse lay an IV kit on the floor then pick it up and use it on a patient in the ER. She was squatted down, tearing off pieces of tape and sticking them on the rail of the bed until she got enough to cover the gauze patch over the IV thingy on the back of his hand…that she picked up off the FLOOR! That tape had to be full of germs!

    I also saw a nurse in a different hospital pick a straw up off the floor and put it back in a patient’s water glass.

    My daughter is an epidemiologist and she has done studies and had her students do studies and the nastiest swabs come from the floors of hospitals and the shower drains in hospital rooms. The ones taken from toilet seats are not nearly as nasty as the ones that come from doorknobs and most doctors do not wash their hands before shaking hands with patients.