Health

Texas Hospital Error Highlights Need for Broader Ebola Training

A man walks up the stairway leading to the Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas, Tuesday, Sept. 30, 2014.  A patient in the hospital is showing signs of the Ebola virus and is being kept in strict isolation with test results pending, hospital officials said Monday. (AP Photo/LM Otero)
A man walks up the stairway leading to the Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas, Tuesday, Sept. 30, 2014. A patient in the hospital is showing signs of the Ebola virus and is being kept in strict isolation with test results pending, hospital officials said Monday. (AP Photo/LM Otero)

(NBC News) – American hospitals may need to step up their training for potential Ebola patients, some advocates say, after a Texas incident raised fears about the virus not being properly contained.

The case of the Dallas hospital that initially sent home a man sickened with Ebolahighlights an urgent need for better training — not only for the nurses who are the front-line defense against stopping the spread of any disease, but for all health care personnel, some experts say.

It was not necessarily human error that caused the hospital staff to mistakenly send home Liberian national Thomas Eric Duncan, Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital says.It says it has updated software that appears to have made doctors miss a nurse’s note flagging that Duncan came from Liberia.

Duncan was sent home after showing up on Sept. 26 with a fever and abdominal pain. The hospital had recently held a drill for Ebola and Duncan told a nurse he had recently returned from West Africa, yet he was not isolated. He returned two days later in an ambulance at the urging of his nephew, who called the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention after Duncan was admitted.

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