Texas nurse fighting Ebola receives blood transfusion from Ebola survivor
Dr Kent Brantly – who also matched blood types with two others struck by the deadly virus in the U.S.
- Nina Pham, 26, has received blood transfusion from Dr Kent Brantly
- Survivor Brantly also donated to Dr Nick Sacra and NBC’s Ashoka Mukpo
- Antibodies in his blood could help the patients fight the disease
- Pham caught the Ebola virus while treating Thomas Eric Duncan in Dallas
- Miss Pham was raised in Vietnamese family in Fort Worth and graduated from Texas Christian University in 2010 with Bachelor of Science in Nursing
- HazChem teams spent the weekend fumigating her Dallas apartment
- Authorities have blamed a ‘breach of protocol’ – but nursing leaders have criticized the CDC for making her a scapegoat
The Texan nurse diagnosed with Ebola has received a blood transfusion from survivor Dr Kent Brantly, reports claim.
It is the third time Dr Brantly has donated blood to Ebola victims after medics discovered he had the same blood type as previous patient Dr Nick Sacra and NBC cameraman Ashoka Mukpo, who is still being treated.
Incredibly, nurse Nina Pham, 26, has also matched with Brantly and today received a transfusion of his blood in a move that doctors believe could save her life.
Pham has been in quarantine since Friday after catching the disease from ‘patient zero’ Thomas Eric Duncan – the man who brought the deadly virus to America.
Brantly is believed to have traveled to Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital, where Pham worked, to make the donation on Sunday night.
Today, Pham’s condition was described as ‘clinically stable’.
Those who have survived Ebola have antibodies in their blood which can help new sufferers beat the disease.
Dr Kent Brantly was flown back from Liberia to the U.S. after contracting Ebola during his missionary work for Samaritan’s Purse.
He survived after receiving a dose of the experimental serum Z-Mapp and round-the-clock care at Emory University Hospital in Atlanta, Georgia.
On September 10, Dr Brantly donated blood to a fellow doctor, Dr Rick Sacra, who also contracted Ebola during his work in West Africa and survived the disease.
Last Tuesday, he was on a road trip from Indiana to Texas when he received a call from Ashoka Mukpo’s medical center in Nebraska telling him his blood type matched Mukpo’s.
He also offered his blood to Thomas Eric Duncan but their blood types didn’t match.
Within minutes, he stopped off at the Community Blood Center in Kansas City, Missouri, and his donation was flown to Omaha.
Pham was diagnosed after admitting herself to hospital on Friday when her temperature spiked – one of the first symptoms of the deadly virus.
HOW COMMON IS IT FOR TWO PEOPLE TO MATCH BLOOD TYPE?
There are four major blood types: A, B, AB, and O. They divide into positive and negative categories.
It is not known what blood type the four Ebola patients have in common.
The most common blood type in the US is O positive, although ethnic groups normally differ.
The majority of African Americans and Hispanics have O positive.
Around 37 per cent of Caucasians do too, but 33 per cent have A positive.
There is more variety among Asian people. A quarter are listed as B positive, according to the Red Cross, but many also have a high number of Os and As.
A blood test confirmed she had the disease and she is now being treated in an isolation ward.
The Emergency Room where she was admitted was cleared and decontaminated.
Nina Pham’s uncle confirmed to MailOnline that she is the nurse who has contracted Ebola while treating patient zero Thomas Eric Duncan.
Jason Nguyen told MailOnline: ‘Nina has contracted Ebola, she is my niece. Her mother called me on Saturday and told me; ‘Nina has caught Ebola.’
‘My sister is very upset, we all are. She said she was going up to the hospital in Dallas and I haven’t heard from her since. I’ve tried to call but I can’t get through. It’s very shocking. I don’t know any of the details, only what I hear on the news. It’s frightening.’
He added: ‘Nina is very hard working. She is always up at the hospital in Dallas.’
A friend added: ‘You always hear it on the news, but you don’t expect someone you know so well to have it.’
HazChem teams spent the weekend fumigating her apartment in Dallas while health officials have ordered an investigation into how she contracted the disease.
Her beloved King Charles Spaniel will not be destroyed and is being quarantined, Dallas mayor Mike Rawlings has assured.
Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Protection (CDC) Dr Thomas Frieden has blamed a ‘breach in protocol’ of infection control lead Miss Pham to catch Ebola.
Mr Duncan arrived in Texas from Liberia on September 20. He began showing symptoms of Ebola three days after his arrival and was admitted to Texas Presbyterian Hospital on Sunday 28. He died on Wednesday October 8.
Presbyterian’s chief clinical officer, Dr Dan Varga, said all staff had followed CDC recommended precautions – ‘gown, glove, mask and shield’ – while treating Mr Duncan.
CDC chief backtracks after blaming nurse who got Ebola:
And on Monday the CDC said that a critical moment may have come when Miss Pham took off her equipment.
Ebola victims suffer chronic diarrhea and bleeding. But blood and feces from an Ebola patient are considered the most infectious bodily fluids.
Mr Duncan also underwent two surgical procedures in a bid to keep him alive but which are particularly high-risk for transmitting the virus – kidney dialysis and intubation to help him to breathe – due to the spread of blood and saliva.
Nurses’ leader Bonnie Castillo has criticized the CDC for blaming the nurse for the spread of the disease.
Ms Castillo, of the National Nurses United, said: ‘You don’t scapegoat and blame when you have a disease outbreak. We have a system failure. That is what we have to correct.’
In response to the criticism, Frieden clarified his comments to say that he did not mean it was an error on Miss Pham’s part that led to the ‘breach of protocol.’
The CDC said on Monday it has launched a wholesale review of the procedures and equipment used by healthcare workers.
Dr Frieden added that the case ‘substantially’ changes how medical staff approach the control of the virus, adding that: ‘We have to rethink how we address Ebola control, because even a single infection is unacceptable.’
When she got accepted into nursing school she was really excited. Her mom would tell how it’s really hard and a bunch of her friends quit doing it because it was so stressful. But she was like, “This is what I want to do” – Friend of Miss Pham
Raised in Vietnamese family in Fort Worth, she graduated from Texas Christian University in 2010 with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing.
She obtained her nursing license in August 2010 and recently qualified as a critical care nurse.
A friend told the Dallas Morning News: ‘When she got accepted into nursing school she was really excited. Her mom would tell how it’s really hard and a bunch of her friends quit doing it because it was so stressful. But she was like, “This is what I want to do”.’
A devout Christian she regularly attends mass at the Lady of Fatima Church.
Tom Ha, who taught her bible class, told the paper: ‘The family is very dedicated and go out of their way to help people. I expect, with the big heart she has, she went beyond what she was supposed to do to help anyone in need.’
Ha, who taught the woman in Bible classes, said he and others are translating health information into Vietnamese to help others learn about the illness.
‘People are more worried for the family than for themselves, but some have questions because they don’t really understand what it is or how it is transmitted.’