Radio Sandwell News

London hospital thrown into chaos after 'Ebola patient'

2014-10-13 22:39:38

University Hospital Lewisham
University Hospital Lewisham (Picture: Rex)

Britain's hospitals may be unprepared to deal with an outbreak of the deadly Ebola virus, NHS insiders have claimed, after a suspected sufferer caused chaos in a London A&E ward.

Unprepared, 'panicking' staff at Lewisham hospital allowed the patient to use communal toilets and to have visitors, despite the risk of infecting others, insiders claimed this weekend.

Staff failed to follow correct procedures to deal with the deadly virus, despite high-profile NHS drills supposed to demonstrate that British hospitals are ready.

The supposed victim, who had travelled from Sierra Leone, was not transferred to a specialist unit at the Royal Free Hospital, the only fully-equipped 'Ebola-proof' isolation unit in the UK.

Instead, he was treated by staff at Lewisham hospital equipped with aprons, masks and gloves, rather than biohazard suits, insiders said.

Ebola is fatal in up to 70 per cent of cases (Picture: EPA)

The man was later found not to have the virus.

The insider at Lewisham hospital said: 'The hospital is unprepared. Staff were panicking and scared for their safety.'

The outbreak has killed 3,000 people in West Africa, and infected Westerners who had travelled to the region as well as the health workers treating them.

A Dallas nurse who was part of the treatment team for Thomas Eric Duncan, became the first person to contract the virus in the United States over the weekend, despite wearing protective clothing.

Symptoms of the virus can take up to 21 days after infection to appear - and the virus is fatal in up to 70 per cent of the cases, according to the World Health Organisation.

Researchers at Boston Northeastern University predict there is a 50 per cent chance Ebola will arrive in Britain within the next 16 days, due to Britain being a major transport hub.


Share this story

Related Stories

News around the web

DR Congo: Kidnapped Britons released

Britons held in DR Congo freed

Student groups with a million members back call for second Brexit referendum

Brexit: UK government to host summit on why other countries should join the EU

Metropolitan Police's facial recognition technology 98% inaccurate, figures show

Missing Joe Tilley found dead in Colombia

Russian embassy in Paris requests info from France on knife attacker's nationality

Nearly half a million 'hidden' young people left without state help to survive and find work, ministers warned

Crystal meth found at Home Office headquarters as Sajid Javid boasts about sniffer dogs' prowess

Theresa May faces deadlock over Brexit customs rules, after senior politicians attack both proposed options

Image Slider