October 25, 2014

Hospital staff expected to tend to Ebola patient Dr Craig Spencer in a New York hospital without proper training or protective gear have walked off. Large numbers of them have reported sick, according to Fox news, in a welcome step that will do much to limit Ebola infections.

My sympathy is with them. Did these people struggle to get their medical qualifications, spend years showing up for work day in, day out, treat sick patients in difficult conditions, just to have their health and lives, the lives of their families, colleagues, patients and community, put at risk because of the criminally irresponsible behaviour of the CDC and Obama administration which has failed to give them proper training or equipment for treating such a lethal disease?

Should they risk infection, sickness and even death because of the reckless selfishness of some MSF doctor who should have done his quarantine in Liberia where the Ugandan and local doctors are excellent? Should not only they, but their children, spouses and parents risk getting Ebola because Dr Craig Spencer, who was ready to expose virtually half of New York to Ebola during his so called self monitoring, did not do the right thing and quarantine in west Africa?

Spencer even has the gall to lecture the medical staff in New York on proper treatment after showing a total disregard for just that, media report, and he has also been calling the nurses station all day long, increasing their risk. Contrast this selfish behaviour with Spanish nurse Teresa Romero who, even when she was critically ill, did as much as she could for herself, such as picking up her pillow and putting in tubes – and expressly to stop her colleagues from having to do it because she knew they were at risk of getting Ebola every time they went into her room.

Why has Spencer not been sent to a special biosecurity level 4 facility where medical staff are trained for Ebola? There are plenty of empty spaces in these ultra expensive facilities. If more beds are needed, add them. And send the bill to MSF and Spencer. MSF staff will soon see the advantages of quarantining in west Africa if they have to foot the multi million dollar costs of necessary quarantines and not US tax payers.

From Fox News:

“New York City’s first Ebola patient is prompting frightened staffers tasked with his treatment at the city-run hospital in Manhattan to call in sick, according to a published report.

The New York Post reported Saturday that an “extraordinary number” of Bellevue Hospital staffers took a sick day Friday rather than treat Dr. Craig Spencer. And those who reported for work were petrified at having to enter his isolation ward, the paper added, citing sources.

“The nurses on the floor are miserable with a ‘why me?’ attitude, scared to death and overworked because all their co-workers called out sick,” one source told the Post. “One nurse even went as far as to pretend she was having a stroke to get out of working there, but once they cleared her in the ER they sent her back,” the source also told the paper.”

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