Home | News | Nurse’s Ebola infection possibly linked to visor
Image: International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC)

Nurse’s Ebola infection possibly linked to visor

A British nurse who contracted Ebola whilst working in Sierra Leone possibly caught the virus by wearing a visor and not goggles in a situation better suited to the latter, an investigation has suggested.

The report, by Save the Children, states it cannot be certain how Pauline Cafferkey contracted Ebola and both pieces of equipment are "equally safe".

The nurse volunteered with the charity at the Ebola Treatment Centre (ETC) in Kerry Town before returning to the UK in December.

She spent more than three weeks in a London hospital, where she was critically ill, but was released last month after making a full recovery.

On Wednesday, Save the Children published the findings of an independent review into the possible causes of how the 39-year-old caught the virus. The report stated both visors and goggles were safe but there were slight differences in the type of clothing that should be worn with each and in the protocols for putting them on and removing them.

Justin Forsyth, the charity's chief executive, said: "We will never be 100 per cent sure how Pauline contracted Ebola.

"The panel found that the Save the Children procedures, equipment and protocols at the ETC are safe and meet all required standards and that training is of a good standard," Forsyth continued. "Although there is no conclusive evidence, the panel suggests that Pauline's use of a visor, within a context geared to the use of goggles, was the most likely cause of her contracting Ebola.

"The panel found that where Save the Children-approved protocols may not have been followed, or where prescribed equipment was not used, [this wasn't] picked up immediately and therefore action might not have been taken quickly to correct them.

"Lessons have already been learned and as a result of the findings, we have further tightened our protocols and procedures."

Do you have an idea for a story?
Email [email protected]

Get the news delivered straight to your inbox

Receive the top stories in our weekly newsletter Sign up now

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *