jueves, 26 de marzo de 2015

Turning the Tide on Ebola

Dept. of Health & Human Services
Mar 25, 2015
By: Calvin W. Edwards, CAPT, U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps
Before accepting their agreements to work in Liberia in a mobile hospital for Ebola patients, I emailed each of the 68 Commissioned Corps officers of the U.S. Public Health Service that they would face danger, needed to accept certain risks, and that they would have to perform under extremely austere conditions.
Turns out, if anything, I may have underestimated the hardship.
Initially we lived 12 to a room in two-bedroom cabanas that were intended for four people and had ”septic” issues (sewage backups and overflowing toilets) to boot. We ate MRE’s (Meals Ready to Eat) intended for troops in combat. Six weeks into the two-month deployment, we were moved into tents next to the mobile hospital, about 20 officers per tent.
We worked 12-hour shifts in 90 degree heat and 90 percent humidity, often wearing head-to-toe heavy layers of plastic gear that left us soaked in sweat within minutes. A single slip in protocol could expose us to a deadly virus as we worked with vomiting patients who could defecate up to three gallons of diarrhea a day and could quickly dehydrate.
The Payoff
But when the first patient emerged with a clean bill of health, the hardships were forgotten.
A Liberian physician’s assistant, a man in his 30s, was the first to walk out with a certificate documenting that two tests showed him to be virus-free.
READ MORE: Turning the Tide on Ebola
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