Medical Malpractice has led to two hospital workers of Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas, Texas contracting the Ebola virus. "Sloppy" Ebola protocol has led to over 40 healthcare workers potentially being exposed to the virus. The hospital staff did not wear the proper protective equipment while treating the patient with Ebola. Malpractice was committed because the hospital should have had protocol set up to both quarantine the patient and require hospital staff to wear personal protective equipment.
How Contagious is Ebola?
Ebola is a potentially deadly virus that is transferred by coming into contact with the bodily fluids of a mammal that already has contracted the virus. To help characterize viruses and their various levels of contagiousness, a variable known as the basic reproduction number (R0) is used. This number corresponds to the number of people on average one infected personal will infect. Diseases that are highly contagious often have R0 values in the range of 10-20. For example, Measles has a R0 of 18 and Mumps an R0 of 10. Diseases that are more difficult to transmit usually have lower R0 values like HIV and Ebola with a R0 of 4 and 2 respectively.
While Ebola is not a very contagious disease, it remains in the news because of its very high fatality rate and the medical malpractice that was committed to cause the healthcare workers to come in contact with the virus. Since its characterization in 1976, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that slightly more than 50% of people that contract the virus die.
Eastern Ohio's Connection to Ebola
One of the Dallas hospital workers that contracted the virus visited family in the Cleveland area before displaying symptoms. On Wednesday, October 15, the CDC informed the state health officials in Ohio that one of the health workers that contracted the Ebola virus in Dallas, Texas visited family in Akron, Ohio from October 8 through October 13. However, the nurse did not have any symptoms of Ebola during the visit.
Health officials are currently looking for airline passengers that shared a flight with the healthcare worker. Health officials are optimistic that nobody on the flight will contract the virus because there has yet to be a case of airborne transmission of Ebola.
It is scary to think what the medical malpractice of a Texas hospital has caused. While the Ebola virus scare has garnered a lot of attention, there are many more examples of medical malpractice throughout our country. If you or someone you know has been a victim of medical malpractice or if you have any questions about medical malpractice litigation, call the medical malpractice attorneys at Dallas W. Hartman, P.C. for a free consultation at 800-777-4081.