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Ebola Case in Texas Result of Medical Negligence?

Posted in Blog, Medical Malpractice on October 03, 2014


ABC News recently reported on the latest breaking update in the Ebola crisis as it has officially made its way to the United States this past week. The Ebola outbreak began in West Africa in March of 2014 and has since infected over 7,000 people. The latest news story involves a man who had recently traveled from West Africa to Texas and presented to the Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital feeling ill with characteristic symptoms. He was controversially discharged with antibiotics after having mentioned that he had been in West Africa to a nurse on staff. Many are outraged by the ease with which this patient was discharged despite the CDC’s recent focus on ensuring hospitals are well-equipped to both recognize and appropriately treat anyone having traveled from West Africa (presenting with certain symptoms) as potential Ebola candidates.

A few days later, the man’s illness further developed and he has since been officially diagnosed with Ebola. He is now in critical condition and has been strictly quarantined. His family was ordered not to leave their home, which is in the process of sterilizing to prevent further infection. Officials are now examining all the people that may have come into close enough contact with this patient to contract the Ebola virus. They are reportedly using a wide and cautious net in their search for points of contact and have identified approximately 100 people at risk with 10 of them considered to be at high risk.

Critics of the Texas hospital have cited medical negligence as the reason for this potential outbreak, which is hopefully being nipped in the bud by officials hard at work to ensure the avoidance of a national health crisis. The hospital, however, has cited that the error was caused by their internal records system, which was set up so that the travel history gathered by the nurse on staff was never presented to the physician working in the ER that night. Texas Health Presbyterian has since changed their system so as to prevent this potential hazard from occurring in the future, especially given the ongoing threat of Ebola.

To read trending articles on this topic, visit ABC News’ website here. Additionally, read more about the CDC’s reports on the Ebola outbreak in West Africa.



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