Date of this Version
Clinical Pediatric Emergency Medicine, Volume 17, Issue 1, March 2016, Pages 81-86
The Ebola virus disease (Ebola) outbreak in West Africa (2014-2015) prompted domestic planning to address the scenario in which a traveler imports Ebola into the United States. Parental presence at the bedside of a child with suspected or confirmed Ebola emerged as a challenging issue for pediatric health care providers and public health practitioners. At the heart of the issue was the balance of family-centered care and appropriate infection control, which are not easily aligned in the setting of Ebola. In the following dialogue, pediatricians, who participated in discussions about parental presence during the evaluation of pediatric persons under investigation, and a public health ethicist discuss the interplay between family-centered care and appropriate infection control. Reaching a balance between the 2 ideals is difficult and may require the facility and providers to engage in a deliberate conversation to determine how they will handle parental presence for such high-risk scenarios, including Ebola and other high-consequence pathogens, in their institution.