Tuesday, October 14, 2014

EBOLA PATIENT CARED FOR BY 70 HOSPITAL STAFFERS

BY MARTHA MENDOZA
AP NATIONAL WRITER

AP Photo/Uncredited

DALLAS (AP) -- They drew his 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.

About 70 staff members at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital were involved in the care of Thomas Eric Duncan after he was hospitalized, including a nurse now being treated for the same Ebola virus that killed the Liberian man who was visiting Dallas, according to medical records his family provided to The Associated Press.

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 26-year-old nurse Nina Pham 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.