Nurses' union exposes major care flaws in Texas hospital Ebola case

Patient Safety Monitor Insider

October 15, 2014

The Liberian man being treated for Ebola at a Texas hospital was left in an open area of the emergency room for hours, and the nurses treating him worked for days without proper protective gear and faced constantly changing protocols, according to a report in the New York Post.

The report profiled a statement released Oct. 14 by the largest U.S. nurses’ union, supporting the nurses at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital, who cared for Thomas Eric Duncan, who died last week after being the first person to be diagnosed with Ebola in the U.S.

Among other thing cited, the National Nurses Union alleges that nurses at the hospital treating Duncan were also caring for other patients in the hospital; preparation for Ebola at the hospital amounted to little more than an optional seminar for staff; and in the face of constantly shifting guidelines, nurses were allowed to follow whichever ones they chose, the report said. Also, medical waste reportedly piled up to the ceiling and samples of blood containing Ebola were allowed to pass through the hospital’s pneumatic tube system.