Chapter 21 - Clinical Corner

A new office building opened near a hospital and has been touted as being a state-of-the-art, energy-efficient structure. On a late Thursday afternoon, the emergency room is overwhelmed with patients complaining of different levels of respiratory distress ranging from mild coughing to severe pneumonia. Two have died of pneumonia shortly after being admitted. Most of the patients work at the new office building. Their offices are in all floors of the building.

A. What is the most likely cause?

B. What would be your recommendation for treatment?



You work in the hospital nursery, where you take care of newborn babies. You have been having flu-like symptoms the last few days but they are nowhere near strong enough to make you stay home from work, but you really need the money and don’t want to miss days because you don’t feel that great. A co-worker has noticed that you are ill and has told you to stay home until you feel better. To placate her you have decided to wear a mask while at work but even this step has not made her happy. She has threatened to report you to the nursing supervisor if you do not stay home until you feel better.

A. Why is she so insistent about your not coming to work?

B. Why is wearing the mask not enough to overcome her objections?