DALLAS (CBS 11 NEWS) – Doctors at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas acknowledge there was a communication mix-up involving now patient Thomas Eric Duncan days before he was diagnosed with the Ebola virus.
It happened last Thursday, September 25, five days after Duncan arrived in Dallas from Liberia, and one day after doctors say Duncan began having symptoms.
According to officials, Duncan went to the hospital at 10 p.m. last Thursday seeking care. But after he was evaluated, the hospital sent Duncan home — even after he told the nurse where he had traveled.
Dr. Mark Lester, executive vice president of Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital said, “He volunteered that he traveled from Africa in response to the nurse operating off a checklist and asking that question.”
Regretfully, that information was not fully communicated to the rest of the team, and as a result, the full impact of the information wasn’t factored into the decision-making.
When asked if Duncan should have been admitted last Thursday, Lester said, “I can’t answer that question because it’s one piece of information that we factored into the entire clinical picture.”
Doctors believe there’s very little likelihood that the health care workers who first saw Duncan Thursday were exposed to the virus.
Dr. Edward Goodman, also from the hospital said, “Since his arrival on [Thursday], he was not vomiting and didn’t have diarrhea and therefore there were no exposures.”
On Sunday, a Dallas Fire Rescue EMS crew transported Duncan back to Presbyterian Hospital, where doctors say he was immediately placed into isolation. Duncan is now in serious, but stable condition.
The ambulance crew has tested negative for Ebola and are now being monitored at their homes for the next 21 days.
Governor Rick Perry attended a news conference Wednesday and sought to reassure the public. “We wish it were somewhere else, but the fact is, it is here and we have an extraordinary team of men and women passionately and compassionately delivering care to this individual.”
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