Amber Joy Vinson and Nina Pham were taking care of Thomas Eric Duncan, an Ebola patient who’s health was quickly deteriorating. The protective gear they wore included face shields, hazardous materials suits and protective footwear when they inserted catheters, drew blood and took care of his body fluids. But somehow, they managed to contract Ebola from the patient.
The national Ebola protocols have never really been put to the test in general hospitals so health officials are trying to figure out what went wrong. Authorities are analyzing the guidelines and looking at whether someone needs to be re-written.
According to Dr. Tom Frieden, some nurses violate the CDC protocols by wearing too much protective gear. Putting more layers of gloves makes it harder to put them on and it’s harder to take off. Consequently, the action of taking off these gloves increases the risk of contamination. This is likely true for several areas of the body.
The outbreak is the largest in history. Around 70 percent of those who contract Ebola are dying according to WHO’s recent estimates. It killed more than 4,500 people, most of which are from West Africa. New U.S. patients need to be transported to one of the four federally supported Care and Isolation Units to make use of these additional precautions including moon suits.