About 70 Presbyterian Hospital Workers Cared For Dallas Ebola Patient | KERA News

About 70 Presbyterian Hospital Workers Cared For Dallas Ebola Patient

Oct 13, 2014

About 70 staff members at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital were involved in the care of Thomas Eric Duncan after he was hospitalized, according to medical records his family provided to The Associated Press.

That includes a nurse now being treated for the same Ebola virus that killed the Liberian man who was visiting Dallas. 

Hospital workers drew Duncan's blood, put tubes down his throat and wiped up his diarrhea. They analyzed his urine and wiped saliva from his lips, even after he had lost consciousness.

The size of the medical team reflects the hospital's intense effort to save Duncan's life, but it also suggests that many other people could have been exposed to the virus during Duncan's time in an isolation unit.

On Monday, the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said the infection of the nurse means the agency must broaden the pool of people getting close monitoring. Authorities have said they do not know how the nurse was infected, but they suspect some kind of breach in the hospital's protocol.

The medical records given to the AP offer clues, both to what happened and who was involved, but the hospital said the CDC does not have them.

A CDC spokeswoman said the agency reviewed the medical records with Duncan's care team and concluded that the documents were not helpful in identifying those who interacted directly with the patient.

Meanwhile, officials at Texas Health Presbyterian conducted town hall meetings Monday with hospital employees. The meetings included prayer – and a message from hospital administrators.

Barclay Berdan, the CEO of Texas Health Resources, told workers that Presbyterian “will emerge from these trying times stronger than ever.”

“We must not lose sight of the compassion and selflessness a member of our family, and others, have demonstrated to care for others infected with this insidious disease,” Berdan said. “The eyes of this community, this state and the entire nation are on Texas Health Dallas, and more is certainly to be said given the deep interest in our role as the hospital that treated the first Ebola cases diagnosed in the U.S.”

Berdan told employees that the hospital is focused on taking care of its patients – and colleagues.

“We are working at all levels with the CDC to coordinate all care related issues, and now we’re working closely to provide information about precautions, care and treatment that are consistent and understandable for patients, caregivers, family members and all Americans who are concerned about how this disease is transmitted and treated,” Berdan said.

Learn more

Learn more about Monday's Ebola developments, including the nurse who is infected with the deadly virus.

Kent Brantly, who survived Ebola, has donated his plasma to the nurse.

Bentley, the Dallas nurse's dog, has been rescued from an East Dallas apartment -- Dallas animal shelter authorities are taking care of the dog.

In the East Dallas neighborhood where the nurse lives, residents are trying to remain calm. 

Ebola in Dallas: A Timeline

Catch up on recent Ebola developments in Dallas with this timeline. Hover over the right-hand side to advance it.