Saturday, November 29, 2014

Why No One Wants To Play With The Ebola Kids

Apparently the Washington Post was able to sneak out an Ebola story when Ebola Czar Klain was busy in the men's room:
(WaPo) - U.S. officials trying to set up a network of hospitals in this country to care for Ebola patients are running into reluctance from facilities worried about steep costs, unwanted attention and the possibility of scaring away other patients.
“They’re saying, ‘Look, we might be willing to do this, but we don’t want to be called an Ebola hospital. We don’t want people to be cancelling appointments left and right,’ ” said Michael Bell, director of laboratory safety at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 
The handful of U.S. hospitals that have treated Ebola patients have discovered that doing so can be costly, requiring around-the-clock care involving scores of nurses and other health workers. That would be a big challenge for many hospitals, where staffing is often stretched thin.
TL;DR Highlights:
* No one with any sense wants to play with Ebola

* Remember that when you hear about a hospital that does.

* Since Thomas Duncan's diagnosis, the CDC has barely managed to visit 1 hospital per day to evaluate as potential Ebola treatment destinations. (We won't ask WTF they were doing for the last 40 years since Ebola was discovered.)

* "Airport screening" is touted as having prevented outbreaks so far; in reality, they haven't successfully screened out anyone here, as evidenced by all the US Ebola cases to date.

* THP-Dallas was gutted by the consequences of treating Duncan.

* The cost to each dedicated facility, like Emory and U NE, for treating a single Ebola patient, is between $600K-$900K PER PATIENT.

* TWO MONTHS INTO THIS, most hospitals STILL have no idea how to deal with the basics, like training employees, segregating potentially infected persons, or how to deal with the mountains of medical HAZMAT waste generated by even a single patient.

* At this point, hospitals and private insurers (if there are any) will have to eat the costs of treating an Ebola patient, and any opportunity costs of closing departments or the entire facility. There is ZERO financial incentive to do that, and most hospitals nationwide struggle to break even or stay in-budget year to year - particularly the teaching facilities that the CDC would like to use for this, who tend to serve the poorest strata of patients, on city and county budgets already being raped by the long-term recession and staggering unemployment.


geoffb said...

To me it would seem that with the money that was available for this, Ebola, and other serious infectious diseases that a self contained, shipping container sized, modular, level-4 treatment unit for one or two patients would have been developed and stockpiled. Deployed somewhere away from people like was done back many years ago on that Island in NY harbor.

Anonymous said...


Has anyone performed a study or reviewed the Ebola cases to determine if heroic measures like dialysis and ventilators are effective in curing people?

If dialysis and ventilators are not effective, wouldn't it be better to let the poor suffering victim die sooner? I do not want my life extended if I am suffering and in pain, if I am likely to die anyway. I would not want someone to catch Ebola, trying to fruitlessly prolong my life. At a certain point, maybe an OD of morphine would be a pleasant release.

Ex-Dissident said...

Something else you won't find reported anywhere - people who work for a hospital that is at risk for receiving Ebola patients are leaving to work elsewhere. How much this is happening no one knows and no one will know, but I can assure you that it is happening.

Anonymous said...