A Doctor’s Diary: Encountering Chaos And Kindness In An Ebola Ward

October 26, 2014 11:28 AM

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A Doctor’s Diary: Encountering Chaos And Kindness In An Ebola Ward

I am an infectious disease (ID) physician at Boston Medical Center, and I serve as the Director of Infection Control at National Emerging Infectious Diseases Laboratory, helping design medical response programs to potential exposures to viruses that cause viral hemorrhagic fevers. This summer I spent 12 days in Sierra Leone, serving as part of a team treating patients at Kenema Government Hospital's Ebola treatment center. The center was supported by the World Health Organization with guidance, logistics and clinicians. My colleagues and I were recruited through the Global Outbreak Alert and Response Network, a network that WHO hosts. I traveled with Dr. George Risi, a fellow ID doc, and Kate Hurley, RN, MSN, from St. Patrick's Hospital in Missoula, which provides medical backup to Rocky Mountain Laboratories.

My journey to Sierra Leone and Kenema Hospital to serve as a physician in the Ebola Treatment Unit (ETU) started more than a month before I actually traveled there. It is as much a mental journey as a physical one. What was once a textbook understanding of the virus quickly became an intimate experi...

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