News Headlines Article

In Treating Ebola, Even Using a Stethoscope Becomes a Challenge
The New York Times

Doctors treating Ebola patients while wearing “the full spacesuit” — protective gear, including waterproof hoods — are struggling with a clinician’s dilemma: what to do if they can’t use one of the oldest, most basic tools in medicine — a stethoscope.

It’s not safe to cut holes in the hood, and nothing that might be contaminated should touch bare skin or the delicate ear canals.

Also, nothing that touches an infected patient should touch another or leave the ward.As a result, said Dr. Robert A. Fowler, a Canadian critical care specialist who helped write the World Health Organization treatment guidelines, “it’s quite uncommon that you see a stethoscope on an Ebola ward in Africa.”