Filipino nurses at risk of getting infected by Ebola virus

Chito ParazoNurses in a Dallas hospital in Texas where a Liberian Ebola patient died recently, expressed resentment that they were given few rules and limited guidance on how to treat patients who have contracted the deadly virus.

The nurses, some of them Filipinos, expressed their displeasure in a press conference after learning that they were being blamed for “breaching protocols” at the Texas Health Presbyterian hospital which led to a nurse becoming infected with the deadly virus. She is the nurse that cared for the Liberian Ebola patient during his confinement at the hospital after being diagnosed with Ebola.

It is still unclear how many Filipino nurses and caregivers are employed at the Texas Health Presbyterian hospital.

As of this writing, the nurse, of Vietnamese decent, is getting the best care and treatment. Her family was quoted in the press saying that she is in good spirit and remain confident that she will survive the deadly virus.

Amid fears of the disease, President Obama recently gave assurance that the dangers of a serious outbreak in America is very minimal. He, however said that his administration is closely monitoring it’s progress and seriously taking it  at the highest levels of government.

In an effort to to further quell what appears to be a nationwide fears about the deadly virus outbreaks, he gave assurance that the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC)  would be sending rapid response teams to any site in America where an Ebola diagnosis was made.

Ebola is one of the world’s most virulent diseases and is transmitted through direct contact with blood or other bodily fluids of infected people. Early symptoms of Ebola include sudden onset of fever, weakness, muscle and headaches and sore throat.

 The United Nations admitted recently that is is falling behind in a desperate race to stop the deadly Ebola outbreak in Africa.

UN even predicted that thousands of new infections are possible before the end of this year. The World Health Organizations (WHO)  said Ebola infection rate could soon reach 10,000 a week which is really bad. However, they said that the good news is that they know how to stop it. The question is how soon will they stop it to prevent it from spreading here in the United States.

There are hundreds of thousands of Filipino nurses and caregivers working in hospitals and nursing homes all over the United States. The Philippines is the number one exporter of nurses all over the world. Filipino nurses are well known throughout the world for their work ethics and their compassion for their patients.

Because of the threat of the Ebola virus, Filipinos in Texas expressed apprehension over the safety of their relatives working not only at the Texas Health Presbyterian hospital but also those working in various hospitals throughout the United States.

They also grumbled their concerns whether hospitals in United States can effectively handle  the Ebola virus disease to prevent it from becoming an epidemic here in America.

They said that the there is a strong probability that their nurse relatives might get infected by the deadly Ebola virus since as medical workers, they are the first in line in the delivery of health care services to infected patients.

Meanwhile, the National Nurses United, who claims to be representing the interest of health care workers in Texas gave assurances that they are now closely monitoring the situation and looking into how the nurse who treated the Liberian Ebola patient got infected.

The nurses union criticized  the hospital where the Liberian Ebola patient died and his nurse got infected, claiming that the protocols to protect hospital employees were not in place. They claimed that nurses were claiming of confusion in the days that an Ebola patient was diagnosed in the Dallas hospital,thus putting them at risk and that they were not given specific training on how to care for Ebola patients.

They also claimed that no advance preparedness on what to do with Ebola patients were made, no protocol and there was also no system in place.

From what he have learned and read from newspaper accounts, the first time the Liberian patient came to the hospital complaining about muscle aches and fever, he was sent home by ER doctors despite the fact that he to,d them that he had been recently in the Ebola stricken Liberia.

When he came returned to the hospital days alter really sick, he was even made to wait at the ER for hours, exposed to other patients. When confirmed that he got infected with Ebola, he was confined in isolation at the hospital. During his confinement, the Ebola infected patient suffered severe diarrhea and vomiting. Nurses  however were claiming that they where we’re no clear cut guidelines given to them on how to discard of the patient’s soiled linen and towels.

I will not be surprised if one of these days, nurses who will be infected with the deadly Ebola virus while caring for their infected patients, will sue for damages. Reports have it that some parents of medical workers are now talking with their lawyers and are now looking into issues involve in potential legal actions against hospitals that do not provide a safe environment for their medical workers.

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