A Texas hospital made a grave medical malpractice mistake when it sent a man from Liberia home with Ebola-like symptoms in the middle of the global Ebola outbreak scare. According to sources, hospital staff new the man was from Ebola-ravaged western Africa and sent him home without doing any of the proper Ebola testing. This Texas hospital's error has put at least forty-six people from Dallas at serious risk. If the hospital had followed basic medical procedure, the patient would have never been wrongly discharged and those people would not have to worry about the reported 50/50 mortality rate of this latest case of Ebola.
Discovered as early as 1976, the Ebola virus is rare but deadly disease that is caused by contact with someone else who carries an Ebola strain. Today, Ebola is found mainly in western Africa. After this most recent strain of Ebola has taken more than 3000 lives in Africa, it is thought to have come here to the United States late last month and the carrier is believed to be the above mentioned man from Liberia.
On Thursday, 25 September 2014, Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital, located in Dallas, took the Liberian man in under its care. He was complaining of severe headaches, stomach pains, and a high fever. He told hospital staff that he had just landed from Liberia, but rather than complete the federally assigned Ebola tests for patients who complain of these very symptoms, he was treated otherwise and released under the assumption that he had a simple infection. Two days later, on 27 September 2014, the man returned to the hospital. This time the correct tests were completed and it was found that the man had Ebola.
Texas Health Presbyterian initially blamed the man's first release from the hospital on a computer glitch in a statement on 28 September, but on 3 October admitted that this potentially fatal mistake was really made by staff members. Sources say the doctor who attended to the man discharged him without reviewing his records and that the doctor was never told by nurses who saw the man that he had recently come from Ebola-stricken Liberia.
Hospital staff, nurses, and doctors are human and make mistakes, but mistakes such as this one have the potential to cause thousands, if not millions of people great harm. To be sure, this is a clear case of medical malpractice. A recent study shows that as many as 400,000 people die each year in the United States alone from medical malpractice.
Here in the United States, we are lucky that our medical technology is able to successfully treat violent diseases such as Ebola. But even that is not a guarantee, as we recently found out that one person infected with the virus in Texas has already died
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