'They Screwed Up!' Outrage Over Ebola Patient Being Sent Home
There is outrage today because a patient stricken with Ebola was sent home from a hospital emergency room, and may have infected others.
Patient zero is Thomas Eric Duncan, originally from Ghana. Now, a second man who came in contact with him may also have the disease.
TV’s top doctors are expressing dismay. INSIDE EDITION’s Les Trent spoke to ABC's Dr. Richard Besser in Liberia, ground zero of the Ebola outbreak.
“The screw-up here was that a hospital who sees someone who comes in with fever needs to ask about travel. And if they'd asked this person ‘Have you traveled,’ he would have said, ‘I was in Liberia.’ He should then have been immediately isolated and tested. But they saw him, they sent him out, and he was out for two more days potentially exposing people and that's a problem,” said Besser.
CNN's Dr. Sanjay Gupta confronted CDC director Tom Frieden face-to-face.
“This could be playing out in emergency rooms around the country, this exact situation, where there could be somebody who has a fever, has Ebola, and ends up not being tested,” said Gupta
Here's what we know about the patient in Dallas: He flew out of Liberia to visit relatives in Dallas on September 19th, with two stops in Europe. He came in contact with hundreds of fellow passengers, but he had no symptoms. Ebola is not contagious until the symptoms begin.
September 24: In Dallas the symptoms appear; severe fever, fatigue, excruciating headache.
September 26: The patient goes to the hospital. He's given antibiotics and, incredibly, he's sent home to an apartment complex in northeast Dallas. The Ebola goes undiagnosed. A hospital spokesman said the man did tell one nurse he had just come from Liberia.
“Regretfully, that information was not fully communicated throughout the full team,” said Dr. Mark Lester, the spokesman.
September 28: He returns to the hospital in an ambulance. This time the ambulance crew suspects he may have Ebola.
The paramedics who brought him to the hospital, and even the ambulance, are in quarantine. Ambulance 37 is now parked behind low walls, access blocked by a step ladder and some tape.
The red alert is now on.
INSIDE EDITION’s Steven Fabian went to New Jersey to investigate more. “Hospitals across America are getting prepared to quarantine and treat anyone showing symptoms of the Ebola virus or anyone who has come in contact with an Ebola victim. I'm here at Valley Hospital in Ridgewood, New Jersey, inside their special isolation unit.”
“The key is to keep the patient isolated. Very strict isolation, and protect the staff coming into the room,” said a Valley Hospital employee.
Dr. Besser warns there may be other Ebola victims out there in the USA, saying, “I wouldn't be surprised if they do find some people who have been infected by him, but it won't be a widespread transmission. It's something that would be very limited.”