Texas Hospital Apologizes For Ebola Mistakes
(CNN) – A hospital official apologizes for blunders in handling Ebola. Schools close for fear of possible exposure. And health officials consider putting 76 hospital workers on a no-fly list after an infected nurse flew on a plane with a fever.
Here’s the latest on the Ebola in the United States:
Hospital official: ‘We are deeply sorry’
The Texas hospital where an Ebola patient died and two nurses became infected is apologizing for mistakes made when first confronted with the deadly virus.
Dr. Daniel Varga said the hospital mishandled the case of Thomas Eric Duncan, the Ebola patient who was originally sent home from Texas Presbyterian Health Dallas hospital even after he had a fever and said he was from Liberia.
“Unfortunately, in our initial treatment of Mr. Duncan, despite our best intentions and a highly skilled medical team, we made mistakes,” Varga, the chief clinical officer for Texas Health Services, said in written testimony to the House Energy and Commerce Committee.
“We did not correctly diagnose his symptoms as those of Ebola. We are deeply sorry.”
Days after Duncan returned to the hospital, he died from the virus.
But Varga did outline a timeline of the hospital’s preparation, saying hospital staffers were given guidance on looking for Ebola symptoms several times over the summer.
He said the hospital has made several policy changes, such as updating the emergency department screening process to include a patient’s travel history and increasing training for staffers.
CDC considers grounding Texas hospital workers
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is now considering putting 76 health care workers at Texas Health Presbyterian Dallas on the Transportation Security Administration’s no-fly list, an official familiar with the situation said.
The official also said the CDC is considering lowering the fever threshold that would be considered a possible sign of Ebola. The current threshold is 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit.
The idea came after news that Amber Vinson, a nurse who cared for Duncan, flew home from Cleveland to Dallas after reporting a fever.
Vinson called the CDC to report an elevated temperature of 99.5 Fahrenheit. She informed the agency that she was getting on a plane, a federal official told CNN, but she wasn’t told to stay grounded.
Vinson, 29, is now being treated at Emory University Hospital in Atlanta, which has successfully treated two other patients.
Staffing issues at the hospital were behind the decision to transfer Vinson to Emory, a federal official told CNN Chief Medical Correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta.
“What we’re hearing is that they are worried about staffing issues and a possible walkout of nurses,” the official said.