Tags: Ebola Outbreak | Fox News | Ebola | Texas | Nurses | healthcare | workers

Former Surgeon General Carmona: Listen to Nurses on Ebola

By    |   Wednesday, 15 Oct 2014 02:22 PM

Officials investigating how two healthcare workers at a Dallas hospital fell ill to Ebola need to listen to nurses at the facility, who reported they were unprepared to handle the disease, former Surgeon General Richard Carmona told Fox News' "America's Newsroom."

A top official with a nurses union told CNN on Tuesday that protocols were not in place at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas when Thomas Eric Duncan, the country's first diagnosed Ebola patient, was admitted in September.

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"We have the nurses telling us they're unprepared. And, as a former registered nurse myself, I know that nurses are often the barometer of how hospitals function, because they're at the patient's bedside 7/24. So, we need to listen and take appropriate action," Carmona, who served under former President George W. Bush, said Wednesday.

Duncan died Oct. 8 from Ebola, and two nurses who treated him have since been diagnosed with the disease.

Carmona called Ebola a "complex issue," and explained that the challenge for health professionals was to maintain proficiency during times when there were no serious illnesses that could threaten the public.

"The challenge, of course, is when we have these lulls in activity. We train hospitals. We train communities. The standards are out there now," he said. "You get a little complacent. You're not really testing yourself. You're not keeping up with things."

Dallas healthcare workers were "struggling to do the right things" when Duncan was diagnosed with Ebola, Carmona said, adding that there were "some gaps in how they handled the situation." He said every hospital had to be prepared for "Ebola or any other pathogen," because that was the "first point of interaction with any given patient."

"Every hospital, every doctor, every nurse has to understand the basic premises around all hazards preparedness, including these bioagents," he said.

A travel ban should be considered from countries hardest hit by Ebola, Carmona said, as officials decided on the best options for halting its spread. He said he was "concerned" about Ebola because "the public is very stressed" and didn't understand the issue.

"People need a, you know, clear messaging that will give them information, but not inflame the situation — that will allow them to understand how they can best protect their families and their communities. Doctors, nurses, health professionals need that same information," he said.

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Officials investigating how two healthcare workers at a Dallas hospital fell ill to Ebola need to listen to nurses at the facility, who reported they were unprepared to handle the disease, former Surgeon General Richard Carmona told Fox News' "America's Newsroom."
Ebola, Texas, Nurses, healthcare, workers, Texas
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2014-22-15
Wednesday, 15 Oct 2014 02:22 PM
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