Read The Whole ThingCLUEVILLE (AP) --- The U.S. health care apparatus is so unprepared and short on resources to deal with the deadly Ebola virus that even small clusters of cases could overwhelm parts of the system, according to an Associated Press review of readiness at hospitals and other components of the emergency medical network.
* Supplies, training, and funds are limited
* Health care workers may refuse to treat Ebola victims
* Smaller hospitals will be least-prepared
* Everyday demands on the emergency care system for years have been at near-crisis levels 24/7/365/forever
* As of 2008, 1/3 of hospital ERs had to divert ambulances because they were full
* 20% of normal ER visits are for Ebola-like symptoms
* Staff surveyed report 100% of their facilities unable to quarantine large numbers of possible Ebola patients
* 66% of administrators, 75% of ER docs, and 80% of infectious disease specialists say their own facilities unprepared to deal with Ebola patients
(nota bene that the greater the expertise, the greater the certainty that we can't handle this)
* "Nearly all" emergency nurses said that ER overcrowding will make dealing with Ebola well unlikely
* Less than 1% of surveyed personnel at acute care hospitals said their facility could handle even 10 Ebola patients at once, and less than 25% of major teaching hospitals thought they could
* Average hospital has 10 protective suits and PAPR respirators for staff, and only six mechanical ventilators for patients
* CDC spent $6.2B on "Strategic Supply Stockpile" which includes NO waterproof gowns, surgical hoods, full face shields, boot covers, or any of the other gear the CDC itself recommends for treating Ebola patients
* Over half of nurses have received no emergency training during the previous year;
of those who did, 44% felt poorly prepared or totally unprepared
* 1/3 of hospitals have no emergency plan for alternate care areas, staffing, beds, or equipment, morgues, or staff absences/shortages
* less than 1/3 of local health departments even had a full-scale preparedness drill
* Only 25% of teaching hospitals had such a drill
* only 4% of medium hospitals had one
* 0% of small hospitals had one
* 14% of isolation staff, 25% emergency and critical staff plan to call in sick if Ebola becomes a reality, and 17% and 50%, respectively, would refuse to work near Ebola patients
No really! They actually found that after um, you know, asking. I am not making this up!
Gosh, I almost wish I'd been saying the exact same damned thing for months and years...
Kind of puts all that nonstop crapola for the past month or two from the White House and the CDC into something like perspective.