Wong Treatment Transcript


Wong Treatment Transcript


WONG: At the same time, though, the MMU [Monrovia Medical Unit] was, I think, unlike any other ETU [Ebola treatment unit] in West Africa at that point. It was going to be air conditioned, which was not something that was happening at any other ETU. It was going to have fancier equipment, a better--a higher staff-to-patient ratio. Some of the things that the MSF providers could tell us, we knew were not going to be applicable in our situation. There was still some path-finding and pioneering to be done, and kinks to be worked out.

Q: Can you tell me a little bit more about that?

WONG: For one thing, we knew that our equipment was going to be different. For instance, we didn't know exactly what we might have available, but central lines were a possibility. These are like the big IVs that go into a big, big vein. It's a special procedure and requires special training to be able to put in. But they weren't doing that in MSF ETUs at that time. There were ETUs in West Africa where they weren't even putting in simple, regular IVs. So there was nobody to tell us, is it safe to put in a central line in these conditions? Because it's not quite these other ETUs, and it's not Emory [University Hospital], it's somewhere in between, and so it was uncharted territory.

Q: Is this something that you're considering, even during training?

WONG: Mm-hmm, definitely.

Q: And how, just in this specific example, what do you learn?

WONG: You probably learn a little bit of best practices in terms of infection control. People have put in central lines, probably, for other pathogens that are bloodborne, so you do the same thing, or you have a discussion about whether your staff have the right training and skills to be able to do something […]


“Wong Treatment Transcript,” CDC Museum Digital Exhibits, accessed June 14, 2024, http://cdcmuseum.org/items/show/761.