CDC head criticized for blaming 'protocol breach' as nurse gets Ebola

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CDC head criticized for blaming 'protocol breach' as nurse gets Ebola
DALLAS, TX - OCTOBER 15: Emergency vehicles escort an ambulance on the tarmac at Love Field Airport October 15, 2014. The ambulance had reportedly delivered Amber Vinson, a health care worker, to an air ambulance. According to reports, Vinson, had contracted the Ebola virus and had taken a commercial Frontier Airlines flight from Cleveland, Ohio to Dallas, Texas, a day before become symptomatic. (Photo by Stewart F. House/Getty Images)
Amber Vinson, 29, the Dallas nurse who was being treated for Ebola, speaks at a news conference after being discharged from Emory University Hospital, Tuesday, Oct. 28, 2014, in Atlanta. Vinson worked as a nurse at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas and cared for Thomas Eric Duncan, a Liberian man who died of Ebola at the hospital on Oct. 8. Vinson was one of two nurses who became infected while caring for Duncan. (AP Photo/David Goldman)
Amber Vinson, 29, the Dallas nurse who was being treated for Ebola, right, smiles as Emory University Hospital epidemiologist Dr. Bruce Ribner speaks during a press conference after Vinson was discharged from the hospital, Tuesday, Oct. 28, 2014, in Atlanta. Vinson worked as a nurse at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas and cared for Thomas Eric Duncan, a Liberian man who died of Ebola at the hospital on Oct. 8. Vinson was one of two nurses who became infected while caring for Duncan. (AP Photo/David Goldman)
Amber Vinson, 29, the Dallas nurse who was being treated for Ebola, right, embraces Emory University Hospital epidemiologist Dr. Bruce Ribner, as she leaves a press conference after being discharged from the hospital, Tuesday, Oct. 28, 2014, in Atlanta. Vinson worked as a nurse at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas and cared for Thomas Eric Duncan, a Liberian man who died of Ebola at the hospital on Oct. 8. Vinson was one of two nurses who became infected while caring for Duncan. (AP Photo/David Goldman)
Amber Vinson, 29, the Dallas nurse who was being treated for Ebola, rear, looks on as Emory University Hospital epidemiologist Dr. Bruce Ribner speaks during a news conference after Vinson was discharged from the hospital, Tuesday, Oct. 28, 2014, in Atlanta. Vinson worked as a nurse at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas and cared for Thomas Eric Duncan, a Liberian man who died of Ebola at the hospital on Oct. 8. Vinson was one of two nurses who became infected while caring for Duncan. (AP Photo/David Goldman)
Amber Vinson, 29, the Dallas nurse who was being treated for Ebola, speaks at a news conference as members of her nursing staff look on after being discharged from Emory University Hospital, Tuesday, Oct. 28, 2014, in Atlanta. Vinson worked as a nurse at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas and cared for Thomas Eric Duncan, a Liberian man who died of Ebola at the hospital on Oct. 8. Vinson was one of two nurses who became infected while caring for Duncan. (AP Photo/David Goldman)
Amber Joy Vinson, 2nd Dallas nurse with Ebola, traveled to Ohio to visit family, plan wedding http://t.co/AfQQEcnh4h http://t.co/YP5oI0j9Iv
Amber Vinson, 29, the Dallas nurse who was being treated for Ebola, right, embraces Dr. Aneesh Mehta, Emory University Hospital Assistant Director of Transplant Infectious Disease, as she leaves a news conference after being discharged from the hospital, Tuesday, Oct. 28, 2014, in Atlanta. Vinson worked as a nurse at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas and cared for Thomas Eric Duncan, a Liberian man who died of Ebola at the hospital on Oct. 8. Vinson was one of two nurses who became infected while caring for Duncan. (AP Photo/David Goldman)
A sign points to the entrance to the emergency room at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas, where U.S. Ebola patient Thomas Eric Duncan was being treated, Wednesday, Oct. 8, 2014, in Dallas. The hospital said Wednesday that Duncan has died. (AP Photo/LM Otero)
Onlookers wait to see a convoy carrying nurse Nina Pham after she arrived at Frederick Municipal Airport, Thursday, Oct. 16, 2014, in Frederick, Md. Pham, a nurse at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas, was diagnosed with the Ebola virus after caring for Thomas Eric Duncan before he died of the same virus. She will be transported to the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Md. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
WASHINGTON, DC - OCTOBER 17: Paige Victoria, 23, of Cleveland, Ohio, and Jeff Hulbert of Annapolis, Maryland, (obscured in back) hold up signs in front of the White House on October 17, 2014 in Washington, D.C. Hulbert is protesting the entry of Ebola into the country through air travel. 'There should be a temporary travel ban on visitors from infected regions until medical infrastructure can get up to speed,' said Hulbert. (Photo by Allison Shelley/Getty Images)
Jeff Hulbert from Annapolis, Maryland, dressed in a protective suit and mask holds a poster demanding for a halt of all flights from West Africa,as he protests outside the White House in Washington, DC on October 16, 2014. Top US health officials faced a grilling Thursday by lawmakers infuriated over the nation's fumbling response to the Ebola outbreak, as the Obama administration scrambles to contain the disease's spread. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) director Thomas Frieden has become the most prominent target of the criticism, which has mounted as it emerged that a second Texas health care worker infected with the deadly disease was allowed to board a commercial flight despite reporting a low-grade fever. AFP PHOTO/MLADEN ANTONOV (Photo credit should read MLADEN ANTONOV/AFP/Getty Images)
Twilette Miller, a nurse arriving from Dayton, Ohio, and concerned about Ebola reports, wears a precautionary surgical mask at Dulles International Airport October 16, 2014, in Sterling, Virginia, outside Washington, DC. Some schools in Ohio and Texas closed Thursday amid fears that students or staff had been exposed to a nurse who had Ebola infection during an airline flight. The US Centers for Disease Control has reached out to 132 people who were on the same October 13 flight as Amber Vinson, but said there was an extremely low risk that anyone was infected. AFP PHOTO/Paul J. Richards (Photo credit should read PAUL J. RICHARDS/AFP/Getty Images)
DALLAS, TX - OCTOBER 15: An air ambulance carrying Amber Vinson takes off from Love Field Airport October 15, 2014. According to reports, Vinson, a healthcare worker, had contracted the Ebola virus and had taken a commercial Frontier Airlines flight from Cleveland, Ohio to Dallas, Texas, a day before become symptomatic. (Photo by Stewart F. House/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - OCTOBER 16: White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest takes questions from the media during his daily briefing in the Brady Briefing Room, October 16, 2014 in Washington, DC. Secretary Earnest spoke about the two health care workers who were infected with the Ebola virus in Texas. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas staff line the drive that exits the emergency room as they wait for an ambulance carrying Nina Pham to depart, Thursday, Oct. 16, 2014, in Dallas. Pham, a nurse at the hospital was diagnosed with the Ebola virus after caring for Thomas Eric Duncan who died of the same virus. Amber Vinson, another nurse diagnosed, was taken to a similar location in Atlanta yesterday. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)
This Oct. 13, 2014, photo released via Twitter by the City of Dallas Public Information Managing Director Sana Syed shows Bentley in Dallas, the one-year-old King Charles Spaniel belonging to Nina Pham, the nurse who contracted Ebola. Bentley has been taken from Pham's Dallas apartment and will be cared for at an undisclosed location. (AP Photo/Courtesy of Sana Syed/PIO, City of Dallas)
This 2010 photo provided by tcu360.com, the yearbook of Texas Christian University, shows Nina Pham, 26, who became the first person to contract the disease within the United States. Records show that Pham and other health care workers wore protective gear, including gowns, gloves, masks and face shields and sometimes full-body suits when caring for Thomas Eric Duncan. (AP Photo/Courtesy of tcu360.com)
An ambulance carrying Amber Joy Vinson, the second health care worker to be diagnosed with Ebola in Texas, arrives at Emory University Hospital on Wednesday, Oct. 15, 2014, in Atlanta. Vinson was one of the nurses who cared for Thomas Eric Duncan, who died at the Dallas hospital last week of the Ebola virus. (AP Photo/David Tulis)
The Frontier Airlines plane that Amber Vinson flew from Cleveland to Dallas on Monday, taxies away from the terminal at Cleveland Hopkins International Airport Wednesday, Oct. 15, 2014, in Cleveland. Vinson is the second nurse to be diagnosed with Ebola at the Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas. Ohio health officials aren't sure how many people came into contact with Vinson as she visited family in the Akron area days before being diagnosed with the disease. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)

Nina Pham (Instagram)

President Barack Obama pauses as he speaks about Ebola during a meeting in the Cabinet Room of the White House in Washington, Wednesday, Oct. 15, 2014, with members of his team coordinating the government’s response to the Ebola outbreak. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
DALLAS, TX - OCTOBER 12: A man dressed in protective hazmat clothing walks towards an apartment where a second person diagnosed with the Ebola virus resides on October 12, 2014 in Dallas, Texas. A female nurse working at Texas Heath Presbyterian Hospital, the same facility that treated Thomas Eric Duncan, has tested positive for the virus. (Photo by Mike Stone/Getty Images)
Twilette Miller, a nurse arriving from Dayton, Ohio, and concerned about Ebola reports, wears a precautionary surgical mask at Dulles International Airport October 16, 2014, in Sterling, Virginia, outside Washington, DC. Some schools in Ohio and Texas closed Thursday amid fears that students or staff had been exposed to a nurse who had Ebola infection during an airline flight. The US Centers for Disease Control has reached out to 132 people who were on the same October 13 flight as Amber Vinson, but said there was an extremely low risk that anyone was infected. AFP PHOTO/Paul J. Richards (Photo credit should read PAUL J. RICHARDS/AFP/Getty Images)
The cruise ship Carnival Magic passes near Cozumel , Mexico, Friday, Oct. 17, 2014. The cruise ship with a Dallas health care worker aboard who is being monitored for signs of Ebola did not receive clearance to dock in Cozumel, a day after Belize refused to let the passenger leave the vessel. (AP Photo/Angel Castellanos)
Passengers at Frontier gate at Hopkins now wearing masks http://t.co/kBn0hhZhQZ
President Barack Obama, next to Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel, speaks to the media about Ebola during a meeting in the Cabinet Room of the White House in Washington, Wednesday, Oct. 15, 2014, with members of his team coordinating the government’s response to the Ebola outbreak. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
President Barack Obama, second from left, speaks to the media about Ebola during a meeting in the Cabinet Room of the White House in Washington, Wednesday, Oct. 15, 2014, with members of his team coordinating the government’s response to the Ebola outbreak including, from left are Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell, Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel, Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson, National Security Adviser Susan Rice, and Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
President Barack Obama speaks about Ebola after a meeting in the Cabinet Room of the White House in Washington, Wednesday, Oct. 15, 2014, with members of his team coordinating the government’s response to the Ebola outbreak. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
This is Amber Vinson, the #ebola patient that flew from #CLE to #Texas after visiting #Akron http://t.co/wBoZM9Hvr1 http://t.co/RGSvcA6l3Q
Family confirms, #Dallas nurse Nina Pham is 2nd patient with #Ebola... #PrayersforNina http://t.co/dTXi5SPZVW http://t.co/u4slPTn6US
#NinaPham identified as Dallas nurse with #Ebola http://t.co/3p3AFlxp42 http://t.co/L4Ho8zSHuM
Dr. Tom Frieden, head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, speaks at a news conference, Sunday Oct. 12, 2014, in Atlanta. A Texas health care worker, who was in full protective gear when providing hospital care for Ebola patient Thomas Eric Duncan, who later died, has tested positive for the virus and is in stable condition. (AP Photo/John Amis)
DALLAS, TX - OCTOBER 12: Workers with hazmat company CG Environmental Cleaning Guys prepare a tarp to block the view of media as they prepare to enter an apartment where a second person diagnosed with the Ebola virus resides on October 12, 2014 in Dallas, Texas. A female nurse working at Texas Heath Presbyterian Hospital, the same facility that treated Thomas Eric Duncan, has tested positive for the virus. (Photo by Mike Stone/Getty Images)
DALLAS, TX - OCTOBER 12: A man dressed in protective hazmat clothing leaves after treating the front porch and sidewalk of an apartment where a second person diagnosed with the Ebola virus resides on October 12, 2014 in Dallas, Texas. A female nurse working at Texas Heath Presbyterian Hospital, the same facility that treated Thomas Eric Duncan, has tested positive for the virus. (Photo by Mike Stone/Getty Images)
A hazmat worker cleans outside the apartment building of a hospital worker, Sunday, Oct. 12, 2014, in Dallas. The Texas health care worker, who was in full protective gear when they provided hospital care for Ebola patient Thomas Eric Duncan, who later died, has tested positive for the virus and is in stable condition, health officials said Sunday. (AP Photo/LM Otero)
DALLAS, TX - OCTOBER 12: No trespassing signs and warning tape mark the apartment where a second person diagnosed with the Ebola virus resides on October 12, 2014 in Dallas, Texas. A female nurse working at Texas Heath Presbyterian Hospital, the same facility that treated Thomas Eric Duncan, has tested positive for the virus. (Photo by Mike Stone/Getty Images)
A woman looks out of her window from an apartment building next door to the apartment building of a hospital worker, Sunday, Oct. 12, 2014, in Dallas. The Texas health care worker, who was in full protective gear when they provided hospital care for Ebola patient Thomas Eric Duncan, who later died, has tested positive for the virus and is in stable condition, health officials said Sunday. (AP Photo/Roger Steinman)
Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings speaks to residents on the street of the apartment of a hospital worker, Sunday, Oct. 12, 2014, in Dallas. The Texas health care worker, who was in full protective gear when they provided hospital care for Ebola patient Thomas Eric Duncan, who later died, has tested positive for the virus and is in stable condition, health officials said Sunday. (AP Photo/Roger Steinman)
DALLAS, TX - OCTOBER 12: Dallas police setup a barrier after a hazmat vehicle entered the alley behind the apartment where a second person diagnosed with the Ebola virus resides on October 12, 2014 in Dallas, Texas. A female nurse working at Texas Heath Presbyterian Hospital, the same facility that treated Thomas Eric Duncan, has tested positive for the virus. (Photo by Mike Stone/Getty Images)
DALLAS, TX - OCTOBER 12: A man dressed in protective hazmat clothing walks towards an apartment where a second person diagnosed with the Ebola virus resides on October 12, 2014 in Dallas, Texas. A female nurse working at Texas Heath Presbyterian Hospital, the same facility that treated Thomas Eric Duncan, has tested positive for the virus. (Photo by Mike Stone/Getty Images)
DALLAS, TX - OCTOBER 12: A Dallas police officer sets up a barrier after a hazmat vehicle entered the alley behind the apartment where a second person diagnosed with the Ebola virus resides on October 12, 2014 in Dallas, Texas. A female nurse working at Texas Heath Presbyterian Hospital, the same facility that treated Thomas Eric Duncan, has tested positive for the virus. (Photo by Mike Stone/Getty Images)
DALLAS, TX - OCTOBER 12: A man dressed in protective hazmat clothing treats the front porch of an apartment where a second person diagnosed with the Ebola virus resides on October 12, 2014 in Dallas, Texas. A female nurse working at Texas Heath Presbyterian Hospital, the same facility that treated Thomas Eric Duncan, has tested positive for the virus. (Photo by Mike Stone/Getty Images)
DALLAS, TX - OCTOBER 12: Two workers with hazmat company CG Environmental Cleaning Guys stand in the alley behind an apartment where a second person diagnosed with the Ebola virus resides on October 12, 2014 in Dallas, Texas. A female nurse working at Texas Heath Presbyterian Hospital, the same facility that treated Thomas Eric Duncan, has tested positive for the virus. (Photo by Mike Stone/Getty Images)
DALLAS, TX - OCTOBER 12: A man dressed in protective hazmat clothing treats the sidewalk in front of an apartment where a second person diagnosed with the Ebola virus resides on October 12, 2014 in Dallas, Texas. A female nurse working at Texas Heath Presbyterian Hospital, the same facility that treated Thomas Eric Duncan, has tested positive for the virus. (Photo by Mike Stone/Getty Images)
DALLAS, TX - OCTOBER 12: A worker with hazmat company CG Environmental Cleaning Guys hangs a tarp blocking view of the apartment where a second person diagnosed with the Ebola virus resides on October 12, 2014 in Dallas, Texas. A female nurse working at Texas Heath Presbyterian Hospital, the same facility that treated Thomas Eric Duncan, has tested positive for the virus. (Photo by Mike Stone/Getty Images)
DALLAS, TX - OCTOBER 12: Brad Smith with the hazmat company CG Environmental Cleaning Guys talks with the media outside of an apartment where a second person diagnosed with the Ebola virus resides on October 12, 2014 in Dallas, Texas. A female nurse working at Texas Heath Presbyterian Hospital, the same facility that treated Thomas Eric Duncan, has tested positive for the virus. (Photo by Mike Stone/Getty Images)
DALLAS, TX - OCTOBER 12: G.C. Williford, Battalion Chief for the Dallas Fire Department, talks with fire department personell outside an apartment where a second person diagnosed with the Ebola virus resides on October 12, 2014 in Dallas, Texas. A female nurse working at Texas Heath Presbyterian Hospital, the same facility that treated Thomas Eric Duncan, has tested positive for the virus. (Photo by Mike Stone/Getty Images)
DALLAS, TX - OCTOBER 12: Police officers stand near a barrel containing waste material (L) that was removed from the apartment where a second person diagnosed with the Ebola virus resides on October 12, 2014 in Dallas, Texas. A female nurse working at Texas Heath Presbyterian Hospital, the same facility that treated Thomas Eric Duncan, has tested positive for the virus. (Photo by Mike Stone/Getty Images)
DALLAS, TX - OCTOBER 12: Police officers stand outside an apartment where a second person diagnosed with the Ebola virus resides on October 12, 2014 in Dallas, Texas. A female nurse working at Texas Heath Presbyterian Hospital, the same facility that treated Thomas Eric Duncan, has tested positive for the virus. (Photo by Mike Stone/Getty Images)
DALLAS, TX - OCTOBER 12: Brad Smith with the hazmat company CG Environmental Cleaning Guys talks with the media outside of an apartment where a second person diagnosed with the Ebola virus resides on October 12, 2014 in Dallas, Texas. A female nurse working at Texas Heath Presbyterian Hospital, the same facility that treated Thomas Eric Duncan, has tested positive for the virus. (Photo by Mike Stone/Getty Images)
DALLAS, TX - OCTOBER 12: A Dallas police officer responds to media questions as hazmat company CG Environmental Cleaning Guys begins setup at the apartment where a second person diagnosed with the Ebola virus resides on October 12, 2014 in Dallas, Texas. A female nurse working at Texas Heath Presbyterian Hospital, the same facility that treated Thomas Eric Duncan, has tested positive for the virus. (Photo by Mike Stone/Getty Images)
DALLAS, TX - OCTOBER 12: Brad Smith (C) with hazmat company CG Environmental Cleaning Guys directs an employee outside of the apartment where a second person diagnosed with the Ebola virus resides on October 12, 2014 in Dallas, Texas. A female nurse working at Texas Heath Presbyterian Hospital, the same facility that treated Thomas Eric Duncan, has tested positive for the virus. (Photo by Mike Stone/Getty Images)
DALLAS, TX - OCTOBER 12: Volunteers pass out flyers for the Dallas County Health and Human Services department near an apartment where a second person diagnosed with the Ebola virus resides on October 12, 2014 in Dallas, Texas. A female nurse working at Texas Heath Presbyterian Hospital, the same facility that treated Thomas Eric Duncan, has tested positive for the virus. (Photo by Mike Stone/Getty Images)
An informational flyer about Ebola from the Center for Disease Control is left of the front porch of a home Sunday, Oct. 12, 2014, in Dallas. A healthcare worker who lives on the street and who was caring for Ebola patient Thomas Eric Duncan, tested positive for the virus and is in stable condition, health officials said. If the preliminary diagnosis is confirmed, it would be the first known case of the disease being contracted or transmitted in the U.S. (AP Photo/Brandon Wade)
DALLAS, TX - OCTOBER 12: A barrel containing waste material that was removed from the apartment where a second person diagnosed with the Ebola virus resides sits on the lawn on October 12, 2014 in Dallas, Texas. A female nurse working at Texas Heath Presbyterian Hospital, the same facility that treated Thomas Eric Duncan, has tested positive for the virus. (Photo by Mike Stone/Getty Images)
DALLAS, TX - OCTOBER 12: G.C. Williford, Battalion Chief for the Dallas Fire Department, enters an apartment where a second person has been diagnosed with the Ebola virus on October 12, 2014 in Dallas, Texas. A female nurse working at Texas Heath Presbyterian Hospital, the same facility that treated Thomas Eric Duncan, has tested positive for the virus. (Photo by Mike Stone/Getty Images)
DALLAS, TX - OCTOBER 12: A barrel containing waste material that was removed from the apartment where a second person diagnosed with the Ebola virus resides stis on the lawn on October 12, 2014 in Dallas, Texas. A female nurse working at Texas Heath Presbyterian Hospital, the same facility that treated Thomas Eric Duncan, has tested positive for the virus. (Photo by Mike Stone/Getty Images)
DALLAS, TX - OCTOBER 12: A woman passes out flyers for the Dallas County Health and Human Services department near an apartment where a second person diagnosed with the Ebola virus resides on October 12, 2014 in Dallas, Texas. A female nurse working at Texas Heath Presbyterian Hospital, the same facility that treated Thomas Eric Duncan, has tested positive for the virus. (Photo by Mike Stone/Getty Images)
DALLAS, TX - OCTOBER 12: Volunteers pass out flyers for the Dallas County Health and Human Services department near an apartment where a second person diagnosed with the Ebola virus resides on October 12, 2014 in Dallas, Texas. A female nurse working at Texas Heath Presbyterian Hospital, the same facility that treated Thomas Eric Duncan, has tested positive for the virus. (Photo by Mike Stone/Getty Images)
Police stand guard outside the apartment of a hospital worker and a yellow barrel, left, that holds hazardous materials, Sunday, Oct. 12, 2014, in Dallas. The Texas health care worker, who was in full protective gear when they provided hospital care for Ebola patient Thomas Eric Duncan, who later died, has tested positive for the virus and is in stable condition, health officials said Sunday. (AP Photo/LM Otero)
CORRECTS BYLINE - Police stand guard outside the apartment of a hospital worker and a yellow barrel, left, that holds hazardous materials, Sunday, Oct. 12, 2014, in Dallas. The Texas health care worker, who was in full protective gear when they provided hospital care for Ebola patient Thomas Eric Duncan, who later died, has tested positive for the virus and is in stable condition, health officials said Sunday. (AP Photo/LM Otero)
First responders guard the apartment of a healthcare worker Sunday, Oct. 12, 2014, in Dallas. The healthcare worker, who was caring for Ebola patient Thomas Eric Duncan, tested positive for the disease in preliminary tests. If the preliminary diagnosis is confirmed, it would be the first known case of the disease being contracted or transmitted in the U.S. (AP Photo/Brandon Wade)
A barrel labeled biohazard is left on the front lawn of a healthcare worker's apartment Sunday, Oct. 12, 2014, in Dallas, Texas. The healthcare worker, who was caring for Ebola patient Thomas Eric Duncan, tested positive for the disease in preliminary tests. If the preliminary diagnosis is confirmed, it would be the first known case of the disease being contracted or transmitted in the U.S. (AP Photo/Brandon Wade)
Police stand guard outside the apartment of a hospital worker and a yellow barrel, left, that holds hazardous materials, Sunday, Oct. 12, 2014, in Dallas. The Texas health care worker, who was in full protective gear when they provided hospital care for Ebola patient Thomas Eric Duncan, who later died, has tested positive for the virus and is in stable condition, health officials said Sunday. (AP Photo/LM Otero)
A hazmat worker clean outside the apartment building of a hospital worker, Sunday, Oct. 12, 2014, in Dallas. The Texas health care worker, who was in full protective gear when they provided hospital care for Ebola patient Thomas Eric Duncan, who later died, has tested positive for the virus and is in stable condition, health officials said Sunday. (AP Photo/LM Otero)
A man who lives in the same apartment building as a hospital worker diagnosed with Ebola reacts to the media presence outside his home, Sunday, Oct. 12, 2014, in Dallas. The worker, who was in full protective gear when they provided hospital care for Ebola patient Thomas Eric Duncan, who later died, is in stable condition, health officials said Sunday. (AP Photo/LM Otero)
Women ride bicycles past police standing guard outside the residence of a health care worker who tested positive for Ebola, Sunday, Oct. 12, 2014, in Dallas. The worker, who was caring for now deceased Ebola patient Thomas Eric Duncan, tested positive for the disease in preliminary tests. If the preliminary diagnosis is confirmed, it would be the first known case of the disease being contracted or transmitted in the U.S. (AP Photo/LM Otero)
A hazmat worker cleans outside the apartment building of a hospital worker, Sunday, Oct. 12, 2014, in Dallas. The Texas health care worker, who was in full protective gear when they provided hospital care for Ebola patient Thomas Eric Duncan, who later died, has tested positive for the virus and is in stable condition, health officials said Sunday. (AP Photo/LM Otero)
A women walks her dogs past the apartment of a hospital worker and a yellow barrel that holds hazardous materials, Sunday, Oct. 12, 2014, in Dallas. The Texas health care worker, who was in full protective gear when they provided hospital care for Ebola patient Thomas Eric Duncan, who later died, has tested positive for the virus and is in stable condition, health officials said Sunday. (AP Photo/LM Otero)
A hazmat worker looks up while finishing up cleaning outside an apartment building of a hospital worker, Sunday, Oct. 12, 2014, in Dallas. The Texas health care worker, who was in full protective gear when they provided hospital care for Ebola patient Thomas Eric Duncan, who later died, has tested positive for the virus and is in stable condition, health officials said Sunday. (AP Photo/LM Otero)
A hazmat worker moves a barrel while finishing up cleaning outside an apartment building of a hospital worker, Sunday, Oct. 12, 2014, in Dallas. The Texas health care worker, who was in full protective gear when they provided hospital care for Ebola patient Thomas Eric Duncan, who later died, has tested positive for the virus and is in stable condition, health officials said Sunday. (AP Photo/LM Otero)
A hazmat worker points to the entrance of an apartment building of a hospital worker, Sunday, Oct. 12, 2014, in Dallas. The Texas health care worker, who was in full protective gear when they provided hospital care for Ebola patient Thomas Eric Duncan, who later died, has tested positive for the virus and is in stable condition, health officials said Sunday. (AP Photo/LM Otero)
A hazmat worker moves a barrel while cleaning outside an apartment building of a hospital worker, Sunday, Oct. 12, 2014, in Dallas. The Texas health care worker, who was in full protective gear when they provided hospital care for Ebola patient Thomas Eric Duncan, who later died, has tested positive for the virus and is in stable condition, health officials said Sunday. (AP Photo/LM Otero)
A hazmat worker packs up a barrel while cleaning outside an apartment building of a hospital worker, Sunday, Oct. 12, 2014, in Dallas. The Texas health care worker, who was in full protective gear when they provided hospital care for Ebola patient Thomas Eric Duncan, who later died, has tested positive for the virus and is in stable condition, health officials said Sunday. (AP Photo/LM Otero)
DALLAS, TX - OCTOBER 12: A barrel labeled with biohazardous waste sits in front of an apartment where a second person has diagnosed with the Ebola virus resides on October 12, 2014 in Dallas, Texas. A female nurse working at Texas Heath Presbyterian Hospital, the same facility that treated Thomas Eric Duncan, has tested positive for the virus. (Photo by Mike Stone/Getty Images)
Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Chief Clinical Officer Dr. Daniel Varga answers questions about a health care worker who provided hospital care for Thomas Eric Duncan who contracted Ebola, during a press conference at the hospital, Sunday, Oct. 12, 2014, in Dallas. Varga says the worker was in full protective gear when they provided care to Duncan during his second visit to Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital. (AP Photo/Brandon Wade)
Dr. Tom Frieden, head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, speaks at a news conference, Sunday Oct. 12, 2014, in Atlanta. A Texas health care worker, who was in full protective gear when providing hospital care for Ebola patient Thomas Eric Duncan, who later died, has tested positive for the virus and is in stable condition. (AP Photo/John Amis)
Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings speaks about a health care worker who contracted Ebola who was treating Thomas Eric Duncan during a press conference at the hospital, Sunday, Oct. 12, 2014, in Dallas, as Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins, left, and Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Chief Clinical Officer Dr. Daniel Varga,, look on. Varga, says the worker was in full protective gear when they provided care to Duncan during his second visit to Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital. (AP Photo/Brandon Wade)
Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings, left, looks on as Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins speaks about a health care worker who provided hospital care for Thomas Eric Duncan who contracted Ebola, during a press conference at the hospital, Sunday, Oct. 12, 2014, in Dallas. Dr. David Varga, of the Texas Health Resource, says the worker was in full protective gear when they provided care to Duncan during his second visit to Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital. (AP Photo/Brandon Wade)
Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Chief Clinical Officer Dr. Daniel Varga answers questions about a health care worker who provided hospital care for Thomas Eric Duncan who contracted Ebola, during a press conference at the hospital, Sunday, Oct. 12, 2014, in Dallas. Varga says the worker was in full protective gear when they provided care to Duncan during his second visit to Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital. (AP Photo/Brandon Wade)
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By JULIE STEENHUYSEN

(Reuters) -- Some healthcare experts are bristling at the assertion by a top U.S. health official that a "protocol breach" caused a Dallas nurse to be infected with Ebola while caring for a dying patient, saying the case instead shows how far the nation's hospitals are from adequately training staff to deal with the deadly virus.

Dr. Thomas Frieden, director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, made the declaration on Sunday at a news conference and called for an investigation into how the unidentified nurse became infected while caring for Liberian national Thomas Eric Duncan, the first Ebola patient diagnosed in the United States. Duncan died last week at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital.

Healthcare and infection control experts said that hospital staff need to be coached through the stages of treating an Ebola patient, making sure they have the right safety equipment and know how to use it properly to prevent infection.

It was not immediately clear whether the Texas hospital prepared its staff with simulation drills before admitting Duncan, but a recent survey of nurses nationwide suggests few have been briefed on Ebola preparations. Officials at the hospital did not respond to requests for comment.

Some experts also question the CDC's assertion that any U.S. hospital should be prepared to treat an Ebola patient as the outbreak ravaging West Africa begins to spread globally. Given the level of training required to do the job safely, U.S. health authorities should consider designating a hospital in each region as the go-to facility for Ebola, they said.

"You don't scapegoat and blame when you have a disease outbreak," said Bonnie Castillo, a registered nurse and a disaster relief expert at National Nurses United, which serves as both a union and a professional association for U.S. nurses. "We have a system failure. That is what we have to correct."

More than 4,000 people have died in the worst Ebola outbreak on record that began in West Africa in March.

In recent months, the CDC has published detailed guidelines on how to handle various aspects of Ebola, from lab specimens and infectious waste to the proper use of protective equipment.

How that information gets communicated to frontline workers, however, varies widely, Castillo said.

In many cases, hospitals "post something on a bulletin board referring workers and nurses to the CDC guidelines. That is not how you drill and practice and become expert," she said.

CDC spokesman Tom Skinner said the agency is still investigating the case of the Dallas nurse, but stressed that "meticulous adherence to protocols" is critical in handling Ebola. "One slight slip can result in someone becoming infected."

Skinner said the CDC is going to step up its education and training efforts on how to triage and handle patients, and may consider designating specific hospitals in each region as an Ebola treatment facility.

"We've been doing a lot over the past few months, but clearly there is more to do," he said. "The notion of possibly transporting patients diagnosed with Ebola to these hospitals is not something that is out of the question and is something we may look into."

Ebola Due To 'Breach In Protocol'

LEGAL RECOURSE

Dr. Gavin Macgregor-Skinner, an expert on public health preparedness at Pennsylvania State University, also disagreed with the talk of a breach of protocol, saying it just puts the onus on the nurse.

"I think that is just wrong," said Macgregor-Skinner, who helped the Nigerian government train healthcare workers when a traveler from Liberia touched off an outbreak of Ebola this past summer.

"We haven't provided them with a national training program. We haven't provided them with the necessary experts that have actually worked in hospitals with Ebola," he added in reference to U.S. hospital staff.

Legal experts said the Dallas nurse may be entitled to compensation if the hospital carries workers' compensation insurance. If it doesn't, she would have the right to sue the hospital for damages under Texas law, said Jay Harvey, a lawyer in Austin, Texas.

Her ability to show that the hospital was negligent by, for example, not providing proper training, would be key to winning such a suit, Harvey said.

Sean Kaufman, president of Behavioral-Based Improvement Solutions in Atlanta, helped train healthcare staff at a special isolation unit at Atlanta's Emory University which treated U.S. aid workers Dr. Kent Brantly and Nancy Writebol, the first two Ebola patients to be treated on U.S. soil.

He would observe the nurses and doctors as they cared for patients and keep detailed notes when someone would accidentally touch their sleeve or mask with an infected glove.

He then helped coach them through the process of carefully removing their infected gear. Facilities caring for Ebola patients are encouraged to use a buddy system so that colleagues are watching each other to make sure they don't take risks.

"Doctors and nurses get lost in patient care. They do things that put themselves at risk because their lens is patient-driven," Kaufman said. In Dallas, "I suspect no one was watching to make sure the people who were taking care of the patients were taking care of themselves," he said.

CDC and Texas health officials said the nurse who became infected had been wearing the recommended personal protective gear for Ebola, which consists of gloves, a gown, a mask, and a shield to protect the eyes from possible splatters from the patient.

According to experts, that gear offers the minimum level of protection. When an Ebola patient enters the latter stages of the disease, as Duncan did, they become so-called fluid producers, Kaufman said.

"Towards of end of the illness, the virus is trying to live and thrive. It's trying to get out of the person's body. It's producing massive amounts of fluid," he said.

At that point, caregivers need to add more layers of protective gear, such as double gloves and a respirator or a full bodysuit. Those kinds of decisions need to be made by managers who are constantly assessing the risk to healthcare workers, Kaufman said.

Macgregor-Skinner said all U.S. hospitals must be ready to identify and isolate an Ebola patient, but should also be able to turn to a regional facility that is better prepared to receive them.

"Every hospital can then prevent the spread of Ebola, but not every hospital in the U.S. can admit a patient in the hospital for long-term care," he said.

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