Tags: Ebola Outbreak | Ebola Victim | Phoenix Air | hazmat suits | clipboard

'Clipboard Man' Appears to be Another Breach in Ebola Protocol

Image: 'Clipboard Man' Appears to be Another Breach in Ebola Protocol
(Reuters)

Thursday, 16 Oct 2014 11:21 AM

The mysterious "clipboard man" who accompanied the latest victim of the deadly Ebola virus on a flight from Dallas to Atlanta has been identified by ABC News.

While Amber Joy Vinson, 29, the third Ebola victim diagnosed in the U.S., was being loaded into an airplane in Dallas for a flight to Atlanta for treatment at Emory University Hospital by four attendants dressed in hazmat suits, "clipboard man," wearing only a button-down shirt and slacks and carrying a clipboard, was seen on video on the runways to be in close contact with the hazmat-clad workers and Vinson during both transfers.

"Clipboard man" is a "medical protocol supervisor" with Phoenix Air, a private company which has flown infected Ebola patients from West Africa to the U.S. for treatment, ABC News reported.

"Our medical professionals in the biohazard suits have limited vision and mobility and it is the protocol supervisor's job to watch each person carefully and give them verbal directions to ensure no close contact protocols are violated," a spokesperson from Phoenix Air told ABC News.

"There is absolutely no problem with this and in fact ensures an even higher level of safety for all involved."

CDC Director Dr. Tom Frieden said a "breach in protocol" was responsible for infecting two nurses, but "clipboard man's" unprotected state at the airplane flight of one of the nurses appeared to indicate that health officials are still stumbling over how to safely handle Ebola patients.

It appeared to be the latest example of violation of quarantine protocols which could spread the deadly virus which, according to BBC News, has killed 4,493, mostly in West Africa, although accurate figures in the ravaged countries are impossible to ascertain and the BBC says there may be as many as 12,000 either dead or dying.

"Clipboard man" was seen taking objects from the hazmat-clad workers, which could spread contamination, according to Dr. John LaPook, CBS medical correspondent, who said the man's unprotected presence made "no sense whatsoever," CBS News reported.

"There's a moment where it looks like he comes in pretty close contact with one of the men in the hazmat suits. Maybe something is being handed between the two of them. That's not OK. Fortunately, nurse Vincent is in a protective suit so maybe there's no virus on the outside there, but that's not protocol [for safely handling Ebola victims], that's for sure."

Vinson and nurse Nina Pham, 26, both treated Thomas Eric Duncan, a Liberian who had Ebola, was misdiagnosed and released and spent eight days in Dallas before being quarantined and later died. Vinson told the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention she had a 99.9 temperature but she was given the OK to fly on a Frontier Airlines commercial flight.

President Barack Obama, who said he had "shook hands, hugged and kissed" workers at Emory treating Ebola patients to "use myself as an example so people have a sense of the science here," has pledged, "What we've been doing here is reviewing exactly what we know about what's happened in Dallas and how we're going to make sure that something like this is not repeated," the Daily Mail reported.

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The mysterious "clipboard man" who accompanied the latest victim of the deadly Ebola virus on a flight from Dallas to Atlanta has been identified by ABC News.
Ebola Victim, Phoenix Air, hazmat suits, clipboard
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2014-21-16
Thursday, 16 Oct 2014 11:21 AM
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