Ebola quarantines: nurses' perspective


  • Home Health Columnist / Guide
    Specializes in Vents, Telemetry, Home Care, Home infusion. Has 46 years experience.

Found at Philadelphia Inquirer

[h=5]Ebola quarantines: nurses' perspective

Connie Ulrich and Julie Fairman, University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing[/h][h=5]Posted: Tuesday, November 18, 2014, 6:30 AM[/h]

...Mandatory 21-day quarantines for individuals with known exposure to Ebola patients have been announced by several states (initially including New York, New Jersey, and Illinois) to serve the greater public good. The public's welfare and safety is indeed of utmost importance and not a trivial matter. And, there are times when public well-being takes precedence over individual rights. But decisions on required quarantines should be carefully assessed to ensure that they are based on sound evidence, transparency, and informed understanding for both the public and returning health workers. The current scenarios are problematic for several reasons:

  • First, Kaci Hickox - the nurse with no symptoms of Ebola who challenged Gov. Christie's quarantine when her plane landed in New Jersey and then took her home state of Maine to court over the same issue (and won) - volunteered in Sierra Leone without prior knowledge of any mandatory confinement that would accompany her return to the United States. In fact, in the last 3 months over 50 health care workers arrived back in the U.S. after caring for Ebola patients. None without symptoms were quarantined. Two physicians were quarantined when they developed symptoms or became sick; one recovered and one died on Monday.
  • Second, immediate seclusion has serious implications for one's physical, psychological, and economic well-being. Those who volunteer in the humanitarian service of others should be afforded our utmost respect and care upon their return.
  • Third, policies that are enacted without careful, deliberative, evidence-based advanced planning tend to be perceived as political and reactionary and do little to temper fear

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/blogs/public_health/Ebola-quarantines-nurses-perspective.html#0bSlHt8IZU03xiou.99