Case Analysis: “Emergency Response System Under Stress: Public Health Doctors Fight to Contain Sars in Toronto (a, B)”

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As some of the major problems of emergency response in the Toronto SARS crisis, the following can be mentioned:

Though Health Canada knew about the spreading of an atypical pneumonia in Asia, and despite the massive arrival at Toronto airport of passengers coming from the Far East, no measures were adopted to monitor these arriving passengers or to alert the medical service about the risk of having to treat patient with the mentioned disease. (VARLEY, 2005)

Not having the proper information, Scarborough-Grace Emergency after being sought by Tse Chi Kwai - a 43 year-old man that in just a few days had lost his mother of what was primarily diagnosed as flue -; whose symptoms were fever, shakiness, difficulty to breath and cough; proceeded with his hospitalization in the emergency area, nearby many other patients. Furthermore, demonstrating Toronto’s lack of preparedness to deal with the new disease, Mr.Kwai’s difficulty to breathe was relieved by the usage of BiPAP, lately recognized as responsible for spreading the infectious virus more severely. (VARLEY, 2005)

By that time, though the disease had not still been given a name and though its actual gravity was not entirely known, medical care professionals should have been alerted of the possibility of facing patients infected, and to treat any suspect cases with all the precautions involved in a highly contagious disease, for example isolating the patient.

Facing SARS, Toronto’s emergency medical system proceeded without the necessary precaution; once its professional didn’t even consider the possibility to be in contact with a dangerous and unknown infectious disease.

The lack of information, other the endangering other patients that sought for medial care, also put at risk the heath of doctors, nurses and other medical assistants. Used to treating infectious diseases without the proper protection equipment, such as gloves, goggles, gown and masks, the medical staff treated Tse, and other patients...
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