A Case Of Mistaken Identity Sends Healthy Boy To An Ebola Ward

December 10, 2014 - accent chair

A health worker, wearing a personal protecting equipment, earnings to her ambulance on Nov 11, 2014 after tranporting a studious to a Hastings diagnosis core in Hastings, outward Freetown, a usually run exclusively by locals.i
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A health worker, wearing a personal protecting equipment, earnings to her ambulance on Nov 11, 2014 after tranporting a studious to a Hastings diagnosis core in Hastings, outward Freetown, a usually run exclusively by locals.

Francisco Leong /AFP/Getty Images


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Francisco Leong /AFP/Getty Images

A health worker, wearing a personal protecting equipment, earnings to her ambulance on Nov 11, 2014 after tranporting a studious to a Hastings diagnosis core in Hastings, outward Freetown, a usually run exclusively by locals.

A health worker, wearing a personal protecting equipment, earnings to her ambulance on Nov 11, 2014 after tranporting a studious to a Hastings diagnosis core in Hastings, outward Freetown, a usually run exclusively by locals.

Francisco Leong /AFP/Getty Images

As partial of Sierra Leone’s broader bid to enclose a lethal Ebola virus, a nation non-stop a new ambulance dispatch core in Sep in a capital, Freetown. Along with a new Ebola hotline, a core is deliberate an critical step brazen in a fight on Ebola.

But on a center’s second day of operation, a array of errors put a life of an apparently healthy 14-year-old child during risk.

The dispatch core is situated in a assembly room during a Cline Town sanatorium only north of downtown Freetown. Inside a room, a organisation of group and women are huddled around a list full of laptops. Safa Koruma, a technician, points during a summary on a screen. It describes a probable Ebola patient, reported by a hotline, with a difference “vomiting and really pale.”

Koruma forwards this summary — along with hundreds of others — to a nearest health official. A encampment health workman is afterwards ostensible to weigh a studious and consider a odds of Ebola.

“Probable” Ebola cases finish adult on a vast whiteboard on a other side of a assembly room. It’s a master list for ambulance pickups.

Victoria Parkinson, of a Tony Blair African Governance Initiative, is one of a directors of a center. She points during a name on a house with a array 5 created subsequent to it, indicating a array of cohabiting family members.

Baby Sesay, a normal healer in Sierra Leone, treated a child who after died, apparently of Ebola, and afterwards became ill herself and went to a caring center. As this print was taken, her physique seized adult and she scarcely collapsed.

Foday Kamara is a personality of Royail, a little encampment now battling Ebola.

“We wish to get that [person] quickly, since there’s many people in a home that could be putrescent by,” she says.

One of Parkinson’s colleagues, Ama Deepkabos, writes down an residence and hands it to an ambulance driver. “It’s 7 Hannah Street, 555 Junction. Do we understand?” she says, imitating a internal Krio accent. “Go directly to a patient. No other stops!”

The motorist nods and hustles out to a mud parking lot, along with a nurse. we try to pronounce with a motorist and nurse, though conjunction speaks good English. They step into a white Toyota SUV with a word “Ambulance” in vast red letters, and lift out of a parking lot.

Sierra Leone is in a midst of a three-day inhabitant lockdown, dictated to delayed a widespread of Ebola, so a roads are clear. The ambulance speeds opposite city and is waved by mixed troops checkpoints.

After dual wrong turns and several stops for directions, it eventually bounces down a prolonged mud highway in Waterloo, a farming suburb 15 miles southeast of Freetown.

The motorist and helper mark a chairman they trust to be a patient: a 14-year-old child in a blue T-shirt slouched on a white grass chair.

They get out and put on sparkling white protecting suits, surgical masks and rubber gloves. They travel over and chaperon a boy, who is means to travel on his own, into a behind of a ambulance but touching him. They flog a doorway sealed behind him.

The boy’s guardian, Suleiman Espangura, is a principal of a circuitously high school. He recently took a boy, Ngaima, into his control since his family was relocating to a farming partial of Sierra Leone, and Ngaima wanted to stay during his stream high propagandize nearby Freetown.

“He likes to play football,” Espangura says of a boy. “And he’s really clever. We [teachers] like children who are clever.”

Espangura says he’s misleading since Ngaima is being taken divided in an Ebola ambulance. He says a child doesn’t have any signs of Ebola — no fever, no vomiting, no diarrhea. He only has a headache and a slight detriment of appetite.

But since Espangura had listened mixed open use announcements enlivening people to news any signs of illness, he contacted a health central and was told a encampment health workman would come to weigh Ngaima. Instead, an Ebola ambulance showed up.

Espangura says a ambulance motorist and helper asked him if Ngaima was “the patient.” Espangura pronounced yes, meditative a group were here to weigh him. Instead, they ushered a child into a ambulance and whisked him away.

The ambulance rushes opposite city to a troops sanatorium with an Ebola siege section set adult outward — a array of white cosmetic tents with a blue tarp stretched around a perimeter.

The sanatorium guards, in troops fatigues, tell a ambulance motorist and helper that Ngaima is not on their list of approaching patients. A exhilarated evidence ensues. The motorist insists that he is merely following instructions, and that this is a scold patient.

One of a guards eventually calls a conduct of a hospital, who consents to revelation Ngaima. The motorist and helper mist a behind of a ambulance with chlorine and open a doorway to let him out. Ngaima stairs out of a car and disappears behind a blue tarp fence, into a Ebola ward.

A few mins later, another Ebola ambulance arrives. The troops guards are awaiting this patient. But they contend a beds beds are now totally full — Ngaima has taken a final one. The new studious is certified anyway.

It’s not transparent accurately what went wrong here. But now, a 14-year-old child with a headache is sitting inside an Ebola siege center.

REPORTER’S NOTE: Peter Breslow, my producer, and we didn’t comprehend what had happened until a following day, when we were reviewing recordings of a event. We beheld that a names given to a ambulance motorist did not compare a names of Ngaima or his guardian, Suleiman Espangura. We immediately contacted a ambulance dispatch core and Espangura to explain what we suspicion had happened. The ambulance dispatch core conjunction reliable nor denied carrying done an error.

Ngaima was kept during a siege section for a subsequent 6 days, notwithstanding being told that he would get his Ebola exam formula within 24 hours. Ngaima eventually tested disastrous for Ebola and was discharged. But it was probable that, between a time his blood was taken and a time he was discharged, he could have been putrescent by another patient.

Since we returned to a U.S. in late September, we have been incompetent to strech Espangura for serve updates.

source ⦿ http://www.npr.org/blogs/goatsandsoda/2014/12/09/365469262/a-case-of-mistaken-identity-sends-healthy-boy-to-an-ebola-ward

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