In many ways Medical
care is as much an art as a science. There are hundreds of conditions we have no idea the cause of and have no cure. in some cases we have treatments to manage them. Many conditions present very similar symptoms. Also, things taught 20 years ago have been long ago contradicted by new information. Much of what we present today as fact will be disproved in the next five years.
Still, there are issues that aren't acceptable. Many respected hospitals have been put in probationary status and funds suspended. Medicare actually playing a role in clamping down on standards. One of the single
biggest problems is patients returning.
It's ironic that the group in Dallas now put in charge of their Ebola management and treatment was only recently removed from a probationary status for poor handling of infectious diseases. Now, the argument is that by making changes to get out of that status, they've learned a lot to help them.
And this isn't just a US problem or a few countries. The waiting times in ER's in many places are outrageous. Something contradictory about "Emergency" and waiting 8 hours before you see a doctor.
I would think in the past couple of weeks there has been a huge amount of learning
and self examination not just in the hospitals involved but those everywhere wondering how they would have handled things.
I hope because we've had limited patients in the US so far we don't lose site of the fact there have been 5,000 deaths this year and many health care
providers have died.
Some states have already stated new regulations
for those returning to this country. Nina Pham and Amber Vinson did get outstanding treatment. Duncan, being the first in Dallas, showed they weren't prepared.
One last thing. Voluntary quarantine. Doesn't work. I think Ms. Vinson asked all the right questions and I excuse her trip far before I excuse the NBC employees who needed pastries and coffee. I think too some people don't think. The doctor returning to New York
probably is thinking right now something like "how could I be so stupid." If he'd been thinking, he wouldn't have exposed others, especially his wife and kid. Now, is stricter quarantine overreacting? I don't think those worrying right now if they were exposed or could get it would say it is.
The whole over-reacting vs. head
buried in sand thing gets a bit crazy as people argue. It can be balanced. We don't want everyone panicking and living in fear. Most people don't currently have any risk. For many who do, that risk in minimal. But we do want our medical
community over-reacting so they're fully prepared to handle anything. Flu season is going to scramble things. Facilities get bombarded by those with the flu. But they all have to ask other questions now, including malaria and ebola related questions. Doctors can't assume it's "just flu." That puts people at undue risk if wrong.
I'm also proud that as a people we do respond with such concern to those like these health care
workers. It shows a good side of humanity in this country when often we see so much ugliness. I'm even proud of the treatment given Nina's dog, Bentley. People have rallied around Bentley too.
I'd also like to point out that Paul Allen is donating $100 million to the Ebola cause.
Ebola is an ongoing development. None of us know what will happen next and in the future. I personally think it will get worse before getting better, but I also believe we will combat it effectively enough to keep the epidemic from raging out of control.