Tags: Ebola Outbreak | Dallas Presbyterian | Ebola | patients | virus

Dallas Presbyterian Will No Longer Treat Ebola Patients

Image: Dallas Presbyterian Will No Longer Treat Ebola Patients
The Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital. (Stewart F. House/Getty Images)

By    |   Tuesday, 21 Oct 2014 04:18 PM

The Dallas hospital that handled the first fatal case of the Ebola virus reported in the U.S., and later had two of the nurses who treated that patient contract the virus, will no longer treat Ebola patients.

Texas GOP Gov. Rick Perry announced that two new hospital bio-containment centers will be designated as treatment centers for Ebola — the Methodist Health System in Dallas, which will dedicate an entire floor to Ebola treatment and be backed up by Parkland Hospital and University of Texas (UT) Southwestern Medical Center staff, and the UT Medical Branch in Galveston.

Both staffs will be equipped and trained to handle any further cases of Ebola which might arise, The Hill reported.

Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital came under heavy criticism when it first misdiagnosed Liberian Thomas Eric Duncan, who later was quarantined and died from Ebola. Two nurses from the hospital, Nina Pham and Amber Vinson, who had treated Duncan, contracted the disease and currently are under treatment, Pham at the National Institutes of Health facility in Bethesda, Maryland, and Vinson at Emory University Hospital in Atlanta, NBC News reports.

Exactly how the two nurses became infected is under investigation, but in a published letter, hospital administrators said staff "made mistakes in handling this very difficult challenge," partly because "training and education programs had not been fully deployed before the virus struck," NBC News reported.

Some 116 health care workers at Texas Health Presbyterian still are being monitored for signs of Ebola, according to The Scoop, although only three had actual contact with any of the three patients, and to date, no new infections have emerged. The monitoring will conclude Nov. 7 if no new cases are found.

Perry said of the new plan, "In the event of another diagnosis, [the newly designated hospitals] will allow us to act quickly to limit the virus’ reach and give patients the care they need in an environment where healthcare workers are specially trained and equipped to deal with the unique requirements of this disease," The Hill reported.

"The reality is, there remains a threat, and as long as it’s there, Methodist is obligated by our mission — to improve and save lives through compassionate, quality healthcare — to do all we can to help," Dr. Stephen Mansfield, president and CEO of the Methodist Health System, told The Hill.

The Methodist hospital, which has 10 empty beds and rooms for staff to suit up and remove protective clothing, could take in two new Ebola patients within a day, Dr. Sam Bagchi, chief medical officer, told The Hill, adding, "This is a fully contained facility, just like Nebraska and Emory."

Perry said that Texas Presbyterian "has been on the front line. They have paid a heavy price," and Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins noted that the health staff at Texas Presbyterian "are our hometown healthcare heroes. They are tired. It would be inhumane if they were forced into continuing," The Scoop reported.

UT Southwestern President Dr. Daniel K. Podolsky commented, "We all hope that the steps we are taking today will be precautionary and that this time we won’t need to be called to treat Ebola," The Scoop noted.

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The Dallas hospital that handled the first fatal case of the Ebola virus reported in the U.S., and later had two of the nurses who treated that patient contract the virus, will no longer treat Ebola patients.
Dallas Presbyterian, Ebola, patients, virus
526
2014-18-21
Tuesday, 21 Oct 2014 04:18 PM
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