Texas Ebola Hospital Defends Itself After Criticism from Nurses Union

Texas Ebola Hospital Defends Itself After Criticism from Nurses Union

HOUSTON, Texas — In response to allegations that nurses were put in harm’s way while caring for Thomas Eric Duncan, Dallas’ Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital released a statement claiming all CDC guidelines were followed. The assertions by National Nurses United do not “reflect actual facts learned from the medical record and interactions with clinical caregivers,” Texas Presbyterian said. “Our hospital followed the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines and sought additional guidance and clarity.”

The hospital released a list of facts about CDC protocols that were in place, and correctly followed, while Duncan was being treated. 

For instance, Duncan arrived at the hospital via EMS and was promptly placed in isolation. The hospital claimed, “The appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) as recommended by the CDC at the time … Staff had shoe covers, face shields were required, and an N-95 mask was optional – again, consistent with the CDC guidelines at the time.”

The hospital claimed that it additionally went “above and beyond the CDC recommendations” with regards to hazardous waste. “Waste was well-contained in accordance with standards, and it was located in safe and containable locations,” the hospital said. 

Texas Presbyterian’s statement comes on the heels of the Nurse’s Union claiming that U.S. hospitals are not adequately prepared to deal with an Ebola outbreak. 

Micker Samios, a triage nurse in the emergency department at Medstar Washington Hospital Center, said, “The Texas case is a perfect example. In addition to not being prepared, there was a flaw in diagnostics as well as communication. A lot of staff feel they aren’t adequately trained.”

A recent poll additionally found that 60 percent of nurses feel their hospital is not ready to deal with the deadly virus. 

Two nurses at Texas Presbyterian are currently fighting for their lives, after being infected with Ebola while caring for Duncan, the Liberian man who brought the deadly disease into the United States. 

Follow Kristin Tate on Twitter @KristinBTate


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