Dallas Presbyterian on #Ebola: "Our bad, guys! Sorry about that."

Thursday, October 16, 2014

In a very quietly arranged Congressional hearing that almost nobody heard about until after it started, officials at Dallas Presbyterian Hospital, the hospital that screwed the pooch on treated America's first Ebola case (resulting in infecting two of its own nurses due to its shoddy infection control practices and utter lack of training and emergency preparedness), issued an official apology as part of their testimony.
The chief clinical officer of the Texas hospital system that treated a Liberian Ebola patient apologized for what he said were mistakes made by the hospital in Dallas in the original diagnosis of Ebola and in providing inaccurate information.

The remarks, part of prepared testimony for a congressional hearing later Thursday, came a day after a second nurse in Dallas was found to have Ebola. Her diagnosis came after she had taken a flight, prompting health officials to track down other passengers and include them in a growing list of people being monitored for symptoms.
In the prepared remarks, Dr. Daniel Varga, the chief clinical officer for Texas Health Resources, the medical group that oversees Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital, said that “unfortunately, in our initial treatment of Mr. Duncan, despite our best intentions and a highly skilled medical team we made mistakes.”

He added: “We did not correctly diagnose his symptoms as those of Ebola. We are deeply sorry.”
Well, I guess that's settled - now that the hospital has said they're sorry, we can all go home now.

Meanwhile, National Nurses United, a nurses' union, published an anonymous statement compiled and submitted by nurses from the aforementioned hospital. The statement, contrasting sharply with confident and rosy proclamations from the hospital about how it was doing everything it was supposed to, paints a disgraceful (lack of) response when the CDC has been warning hospitals to prepare themselves and publicizing infection control guidelines for months.
The statement alleged that when Duncan was brought to Presbyterian by ambulance Sept. 28 with Ebola-like symptoms, he was “left for several hours, not in isolation, in an area” where up to seven other patients were. “Subsequently, a nurse supervisor arrived and demanded that he be moved to an isolation unit, yet faced stiff resistance from other hospital authorities,” they alleged.

Duncan’s lab samples were sent through the usual hospital tube system “without being specifically sealed and hand delivered. The result is that the entire tube system … was potentially contaminated,” they said.

The statement described a hospital with no clear rules on how to handle Ebola patients, despite months of alerts from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta about the possibility of Ebola coming to the United States.

“There was no advanced preparedness on what to do with the patient. There was no protocol. There was no system...nurses were essentially left to figure things out on their own as they dealt with “copious amounts” of highly contagious bodily fluids from the dying Duncan while wearing gloves with no wrist tapes, flimsy gowns that did not cover their necks, and no surgical booties, it alleged.

“Hospital officials allowed nurses who interacted with Mr. Duncan to then continue normal patient-care duties,” potentially exposing others, the statement said.
So much fail.

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