The arrival of a handful of patients with Ebola to the United States has likely not escaped our readers’ attention. For most of us, it’s a disease that we as laypeople don’t know a great deal about.
Recently, a man in Dallas, Texas, was diagnosed with the disease, leading to discussions about how the hospital dealt with the initial arrival of the patient in its emergency room. Many legal experts say that tort reform in the state has made filing lawsuits over medical errors very difficult — especially those that allegedly occurred in a hospital emergency room.
According to reports, the patient was originally prescribed antibiotics and sent home. He allegedly told the staff that he had recently returned from Liberia. Three days later, he returned to the same hospital emergency room and was admitted with a diagnosis of Ebola.
Health experts and officials have questioned how the hospital and staff dealt with the patient and the diagnosis. While no lawsuits have been filed yet, according to an article in Yahoo dated Oct. 8, the patient has died. The patient’s nephew says that his uncle did not receive the same care as another Ebola patient in Nebraska. The patient that died did not receive blood from Ebola survivors, which the World Health Organization is recommending as a possible treatment.
While it remains to be seen if there will be medical malpractice cases arising out of the Ebola outbreak, Connecticut patients who have been harmed due to doctors or emergency room errors have a right to seek compensation. No one deserves to suffer because of the negligence of a physician or the medical staff.
Source: Huffington Post, “Lawsuits Against Dallas Hospital That First Sent Home Ebola Patient Would Face High Hurdles In Texas” Oct. 06, 2014