The Dallas case rises a question: Should protocols for infection control be revised?


A nurse from the Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital, where a patient was treated for Ebola, contracted the disease. This is the first case of Ebola transmission in North America. Although the authorities are reassuring, the question arises in hospitals: Are protocols in place really effective?

The nurse in question, Ms. Nina Pham wore protective equipment as directed by the hospital. Indeed, she claims to have followed protocol at all times and she is unable to identify how she could have contracted the virus. It is assumed that methods of environmental control were in place so the room was disinfected daily with sodium hypochlorite as prescribed.

A breach of protocol?

The director of the CDC (Center for Disease Control), Dr. Thomas R. Frieden believes that treatment protocols were not followed to the letter “Clearly there was a breach in protocol. We have the ability to prevent the spread of Ebola by caring safely for patients.”

CDCs are investigating in order to identify how Ms. Pham may have acquired the infection. Protocols are of course being examined. They would be sufficient to protect healthcare workers from infection by the virus if followed properly. Nevertheless, removing the protective equipment is always pointed out as a critical step. In Europe, another investigation is under way to understand how a Spanish nurse found herself in the same situation.

No reported case in Quebec, yet

The Ministère de la Santé et des Services sociaux in collaboration with the Institut nationale de santé publique du Québec has issued recommendations in case of an outbreak. It is important that each healthcare center that can receive a potentially infectious patient put in place appropriate precautionary measures. Thus, it is important to have the required equipment for this type of care.

At Lalema, we can help you by providing all the necessary protective equipment and disinfectant ! For any special needs, please contact us.