Monday, March 2, 2020

Protecting Healthcare Workers from Infected Patients, United States vs South Korea



Those bedsheets will do a great job preventing the virus from spreading.


Anonymous said...

Good grief, I noticed the photograph but somehow the significance was lost.

Thank you so much.

Anonymous said...

There were a number of medical staff infected by the virus early on in China, but once training was conducted infections fell even when "the most protective clothing" was in short supply. With training and proper clothing, evidently medical staff infections have been stopped completely.

Anonymous said...

Failing to spend money on PPE for staff does, however, create enormous senior management bonuses and shareholder value for America's private healthcare industry. At the end of the day, that is all that matters.

Anonymous said...

Gilead Sciences is conducting Phase Iii trials for a possible treatment:

FOSTER CITY, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Feb. 26, 2020-- Gilead Sciences, Inc. (Nasdaq: GILD) today announced the initiation of two Phase 3 clinical studies to evaluate the safety and efficacy of remdesivir in adults diagnosed with COVID-19 (novel coronavirus).

Gilead had a successful HIV treatment that was introduced 20 years ago. More recently they launched treatments for Hep C which they charged a mere $1000 a day! So “enormous senior management bonuses and shareholder value for America's private healthcare industry” is spot on!

Anonymous said...

I wrote: "with training and proper clothing, evidently medical staff infections have been stopped completely," but from an earlier contracted infection a Chinese doctor died today.

Kaleberg said...

I'm guessing that those sheets are for the patients, not the health workers. That looks like an ambulance on the right, so they're probably changing the sheets on the gurney. I assume the patients in Korea get fresh sheets too.

COVID19 is a respiratory disease and is transmitted like most respiratory diseases, via crap - technical medical term - coming out of sick people's noses and mouths. The health workers are wearing scrubs, masks and latex gloves. If they don't get lovey-dovey, they could deal with Ebola patients dressed like that. (Public health fact: You can safely remove a dead Ebola patient's internal organs, if that is your funerary custom, with that level of protection.)

I don't think our national response to COVID19 has been particularly good, but we know a lot more about the disease than we did a month ago. Novel diseases require extra caution, but novel infectious pathways are few and far between. Hazmat suits might have been reassuring a few weeks ago, but it's time to cut out the security theater.

ilsm said...

Should National Guard soldiers in MOP 4 (working for the governor or FEMA) gear be assigned to transport Covid 19 patients? As Kaleberg asserts probably not needed.

The Korean responders, probably organized for civil defense response during a war with N. Korea, are dressed in full protective gear for chemical, biologic, radiologic skin contact hazards (sarin gas, as one), in my USAF experience we would have called it MOP 4 gear, full protection for the skin up to nerve agents.

There were other military issue "outfits" for lesser dangers like mustard, or chlorine gases. Deploying troops were (are) trained with MOP 4 level gear, and deployed with fresh sets.

The Redmond Wa. responders may be okay, in the lesser protection level gear with extra effort in decontamination, long warm shower with strong soaps and treating all garments as bio hazards.

The Koreans would require decontamination after the work, as well. The suits etc. treated as bio hazard and cleaned per a medical specification.

I presume there are many more responders at MOP 4 level in S Korea due to possible hostilities with the north. There are US civilian medical responders that use high level 'protection', but likely small numbers.

During the cold war civil defense response in the US was problematic.

Anonymous said...

When I saw, earlier, the photo of the US nurses I read it as an attempt at protecting patient privacy, not a defense against a virus.
It can't really be a medical defense?

Anonymous said...


Please explain just how you know what you are claiming to know. Where does the expertise come from?

Anonymous said...


"Novel diseases require extra caution, but novel infectious pathways are few and far between."

Please explain this and explain how you know this. When making public health pronouncements, a person needs to make clear their expertise or expert sources.

I expect a commenter explain public health assertions at such a time as this, otherwise they can be considered possibly dangerously uninformed.

Anonymous said...

Kaleberg, I am not picking on you but rather want to know what the coronavirus represents to all of us and I am relying on expert comments to try to find out. So, if you do have expertise then explain that.

Anonymous said...

Comment in the New York Times:

Oregon5h ago

Times Pick

I am an infectious disease practitioner. We are desperate. We have less than three weeks of masks left, and about as many gloves. We can’t order more. Other hospitals only have days of needed equipment. This is chaos of the greatest magnitude. We don’t have enough testing kits. Every lab we have spoken to laughs at Pence and his 1 million tests by the end of the week. We simply can’t do it. What is our government DOING. This is exponentially increasing EVERYWHERE in the US. The reason more cases haven’t been found is we don’t have tests!!!

We reached critical triage today with a single open ICU bed, no floor beds and our nurses are calling out sick with respiratory illness. We can’t even test them to see what they might have so they are safe to treat patients. By the time the government gets a clue we are going to be dealing with people dying because we have no supplies and no space.

You can threaten to use war powers all you like, but it can’t fix that we simply don’t have the capacity in the US to make the masks or the gloves. Let alone the medicine.

Do people realize the critical emergency this is?!