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New CDC Ebola requirements to bankrupt U.S. hospitals

Ebola protocols

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(NaturalNews) After failing for months to prepare the U.S. for the eventual arrival of Ebola, the federal government and, in particular, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, are scrambling to put a plan in place, now that a third person in the country has been diagnosed with the disease.

Only, as so often happens, costly new federal requirements are being imposed on private industry -- hospitals in this case -- which could end up harming the very institutions necessary to treat and control the deadly disease.

According to PJ Media's PJ Tattler, during a recent appearance on Fox News, patient advocate Dr. Betsy McCaughey, a health policy expert, former Lt. Governor of New York state and constitutional scholar, said after a conference call with hospitals sponsored by the CDC that the agency's requirements to prepare for Ebola would likely bankrupt several of them.

Host Stuart Varney asked McCaughey what it might take to prepare 50 hospitals to treat Ebola; she said that, after the CDC outlined the agency's preparation strategy, one hospital administrator responded, "What you're telling us would bankrupt my hospital!" McCaughey went on to say that the hospital administrator represented a Southern California facility.

'One patient could break a hospital'

The Ph.D. academician also said that the CDC never said the preparations would be borne by the federal government, leaving hospital administrations to conclude that their facilities would be on the hook for the added expenses.

"Treating one Ebola patient requires, full time, 20 medical staff," McCaughey told Varney. "Mostly ICU (intensive care unit) people. So that would wipe out an ICU in an average-sized hospital."

The former Lt. governor said that, in the case of the Dallas hospital currently dealing with staffers who have contracted the disease, Texas Health Presbyterian, officials there had cordoned off the intensive care unit to treat the first Ebola patient, Thomas Eric Duncan, sending any other patients who needed to be in ICU to other area hospitals. Duncan died October 8, and Texas Health Presbyterian currently has two staffers who have tested positive for the virus in isolation.

McCaughey added that many communities will not have the option of sending patients somewhere else because there are no other institutions in the surrounding area. Therefore, in some towns, one case of Ebola could financially cripple or ruin a smaller hospital.

"But the most important thing is that doctors and nurses are not ready for the challenge of using this personal protective equipment even if you see them with the helmet, the respirator, the full suits," she continued, "as the CDC said on the call today, even all that equipment is not enough to guarantee the safety of health care workers because it is so perilous to put it on and particularly to remove it once it's become contaminated."

Where is the DHS?

McCaughey also said that many administrators and hospital officials on the phone call were "daunted by the expectations, the separate laboratory next to the isolated patients, all kinds of -- all kinds of adjustments, where to put the waste."

She pointed out: "Many states won't even let you dispose of this waste from such a toxic disease."

It wasn't clear what kind of funding, emergency or otherwise, would become available from any number of federal agencies that might be required to respond to the outbreak. At some point, FEMA -- which belongs to the Department of Homeland Security -- could be used in some capacity if the number of Americans affected grows much larger.

Responding to biological pandemics is one of the DHS's core missions. Though the department's focus is on responding to biological terrorism, the DHS -- through fusion centers established with state and local agencies -- is also prepared to handle biological outbreaks.

But someone (like a president) has to call them out first. Where is the DHS?

Learn all these details and more at the FREE online Pandemic Preparedness course at www.BioDefense.com






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