Eric Finley Talks Lubbock Ebola Scare, Why University Medical Center Can’t Test for Ebola
Eric Finley, public information officer with University Medical Center, revealed why the patient isolated in Lubbock Thursday morning wasn't tested for Ebola and explained new protocols the hospital has in place.
Finley said that the patient has a pre-existing medical condition that has similar symptoms to the symptoms related to the Ebola virus. Doctors at UMC were quickly able to tie his symptoms to that condition rather than Ebola, he explained.
He added that UMC does not have the capabilities to test for Ebola and that it does not have the permission of the Texas State Board of Health or the Federal Center of Disease Control to conduct the test.
Finley said he is confident UMC responded to the situation in a proper manner and that hospitals everywhere else would handle it the same way.
"Obviously Texas Presbyterian I think will admit it made a lot of mistakes, but I feel bad for them because they got to go first, the rest of us have the benefit of going second," he said. "So when we see a case like this I think we are going to respond this way every time."
Finley said he wasn't convinced that this would be the only Ebola scare in Lubbock, but added: "As long as [Ebola] is out there, you are going to see hospitals respond in this manner just as a precaution."
Finley says health care professionals are beginning to take more precautions and are more interested in following protocol now more than in times gone by.
He also indicated that the two nurses that have been infected by the virus after treating Thomas Eric Duncan as Dallas Presbyterian Health Hospital make mistakes in following the protocol in taking off their protective gear after ministering to Duncan.
Finley said that UMC has implemented the "Buddy System" among the nurses and others who have been designated into teams that would handle patient care should there be a suspected case of the virus in Lubbock.
One nurse would be following protocol in dressing in proper protective gear and another nurse would watch them getting into the safety gear as well as disrobing from the gear when they were finished caring for the patient.
To hear all of Finley's interview, click here: