Texas slope nurse who contracted Ebola sues hospital company

From: 5 dolla Joe (5-doll...)

(CNN)She was the first person to contract Ebola in the United
States, and now she's suing the hospital where she got infected.

Nina Pham, a nurse at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas,
filed a lawsuit Monday against the hospital's parent company,
Texas Health Resources. She claims the company made her "a
symbol of corporate neglect -- a casualty of a hospital system's
failure to prepare for a known and impending medical crisis."

THR ignored Ebola warnings, its chief medical officer "made
numerous patently false statements to Congress," and the company
"wholly failed to ensure that appropriate polices, procedures,
and equipment were in place," leaving health care providers
untrained, unprotected and at risk for exposure, the lawsuit
says.

"I was hoping that THR would be more open and honest about
everything that happened at the hospital, and the things they
didn't do that led to me getting infected with Ebola," Pham said
in a statement. "But that didn't happen and I felt I was left
with no choice but to turn to the courts for help."

The company's CEO, Barclay Berdan, sent a letter to employees
Monday night after news of the lawsuit broke.

"Nina and so many others of you served very bravely during a
most difficult time as we all struggled to deal with the first
case of Ebola to arrive in a U.S. hospital's emergency room,"
the statement read.

"Texas Health Resources values our strong culture of caring and
compassion, and we view all employees as part of our family.
That's why we have continued to support Nina both during and
after her illness, and it's why she is still a member of our
team."

'In a cruel twist...'
According to the suit, the hospital chain failed to provide
proper training to handle Ebola. Pham contracted the disease
last fall while treating Thomas Eric Duncan, who started showing
symptoms after arriving in Dallas from Liberia.

"In a cruel twist, after watching Mr. Duncan go through the
horrific and painful course of the disease as she desperately
tried to save his life, Nina herself was diagnosed with Ebola
just two days after Mr. Duncan's life was taken by it," the
lawsuit states.

Because the hospital initially discharged Duncan when he arrived
seeking treatment, it hurt his chances of beating the virus, the
lawsuit says.

"Had THR heeded the CDC and other warnings and ensured its
hospitals were ready for Ebola, Mr. Duncan would have had the
best opportunity to possibly survive," it says.

Pham also claims that the hospital failed to provide her with
the necessary protective equipment, despite CDC warnings.

"Based on what she could learn from the Internet, on the first
day she cared for Mr. Duncan, Nina put on a regular isolation
gown covering her front and back, double gloves, a surgical mask
with plastic shield and double booties. Importantly, Nina's neck
and hair remained exposed. Nina was not even (provided)
disposable scrubs or a change of clothes. She had to wear the
scrubs she wore that first day home, taking out of the hospital
clothing that was potentially carrying the virus," the lawsuit
says.

When her mother learned she was treating Duncan, she tried to
persuade her to call in sick or even quit, but Pham replied,
"Mom, I can't abandon him. He is my patient. It's my job. I'm
going back," according to the lawsuit.

Texas Health Resources spokesman Wendell Watson issued a
statement in response to the lawsuit:

"Nina Pham served very bravely during a most difficult time as
we all struggled to deal with the first case of Ebola to arrive
in a U.S. hospital's emergency room. Texas Health Resources has
a strong culture of caring and compassion, and we view all our
employees as part of our family. That's why we have continued to
support Nina both during and after her illness, and it's why she
is still a member of our team. As distressing as the lawsuit is
to us, we remain optimistic that we can resolve this matter with
Nina."

'No risk'
Comparing the conditions facing nurses to what one would expect
in a poorly developed country, the suit further states that
after Duncan died, Pham was told she was at "no risk" for Ebola
"and that she could freely see her friends and family."

Two days later, she found out she had Ebola.

Whoopsy.

http://www.cnn.com/2015/03/02/us/nina-pham-hospital-lawsuit/

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