Sunday 20 October 2019

UK Ebola nurse's condition critical but stable - doctor

Pauline Cafferkey, a British nurse who was diagnosed with Ebola on her return to Glasgow from Sierra Leone, remains in a critical condition, but she has
Pauline Cafferkey, a British nurse who was diagnosed with Ebola on her return to Glasgow from Sierra Leone, remains in a critical condition, but she has "stabilised" the UK's Health Secretary said yesterday

Dean Gray

A nurse fighting for her life after contracting Ebola remains in a critical condition but she has "stabilised", the UK's Health Secretary said yesterday.

Jeremy Hunt gave an update on Pauline Cafferkey's (pictured) condition as charity Save the Children launched an investigation into how she was infected - but conceded it may never establish the exact circumstances.

Mr Hunt told the British House of Commons that he had spoken to the doctor leading Ms Cafferkey's care at the Royal Free Hospital in north London.

He said: "As has been reported, Pauline's condition has deteriorated to a critical state, although she stabilised yesterday and continues to receive the best possible care."

Mr Hunt went on: "She said in Sierra Leone that she hoped her loved ones would be proud of her. Well, she should know today the whole country is proud of her for her bravery and dedication to the service of others.

"She stands, quite simply, for the very best of NHS values."

Mrs Cafferkey, a Scottish public health nurse, had volunteered with Save the Children at the Ebola Treatment Centre in Kerry Town, Sierra Leone, before returning to the UK, and the charity said it was urgently reviewing its protocols.

Charity spokesman Rob MacGillivray said they had launched an "extraordinary review" to ensure that they "leave no stone unturned to, as far as possible, identify the source of this infection".

In a statement, Save the Children said its "serious event review" was investigating how Mrs Cafferkey contracted the disease by reviewing training, safety protocols, how protective equipment was used and "working practices".

The charity stressed that it may not be possible to be "100pc sure" how the infection happened. It said in the statement: "The early findings of the review will be made available by Save the Children as soon as possible.

"As with other Ebola infections in health facilities, it may never be possible to be 100pc sure how the patient was infected."

Irish Independent

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