By Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator – Friday, October 3, 2014
On The Alert For Ebola, Texas Hospital Still Missed First Case
Hospitals have been on the lookout for the Ebola virus in the United States, and Texas Health Presbyterian in Dallas was no exception. A nurse there did ask about the travel history of the patient who later turned out to be infected with the virus. But some members of the medical team didn’t hear that the man had recently been in West Africa. So he was initially sent home — even though he was experiencing symptoms of Ebola, and that meant he was contagious.
“As a result,” says Mark Lester of Texas Health Resources, the hospital’s parent company, “the full import of that information wasn’t factored into the clinical decision-making.”
When the man returned two days later, by ambulance, hospital staffers finally realized what they might be dealing with.
The patient is now in isolation and being treated, while public health workers are tracking and monitoring anyone who had close contact with him.
Edward Goodman, hospital epidemiologist at Texas Health Presbyterian, said government officials have recently been bombarding hospitals with information on how to properly screen and isolate patients.
Just last week, in fact, a team at his hospital had a meeting to go over a special checklist sent out by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
“We were prepared,” Goodman said.
Despite that preparation, they missed it. (Source: NPR)