The Dallas hospital at the centre of the Ebola scare in the US has taken out a full-page advertisement in a Sunday newspaper to apologise for its handling of the crisis.
Last month Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital misdiagnosed Thomas Eric Duncan, the first Ebola case in the United States, who died of the disease on October 8.
Two of the nurses who treated Duncan have been diagnosed with Ebola, and news of travelling hospital staff has triggered a nationwide panic.
In a letter to the community, Barclay Berdan, CEO of Texas Health Resources, acknowledged the hospital’s “mistakes in handling this very difficult challenge.”
He said the hospital is “deeply sorry” for the misdiagnosis and promised that “learned” from the incident.
The letter was published in the Sunday editions of the Dallas Morning News and For Worth Star-Telegram.
On September 24, Duncan, a Liberian man who was visiting his family in Dallas, was diagnosed by the hospital with a “low-grade, common viral disease” and was sent home with antibiotics that would not have worked in treating a virus.
Medical records revealed that Duncan had a fever of 39 celsius and had rated his pain 8 on a scale of 1 to 10.
Duncan had informed the hospital of his recent travel history, having journeyed from west Africa where the Ebola crisis had already claimed thousands of lives.
See the Ebola outbreak mapped
See the Ebola outbreak mapped
1/7 25 March 2014
This outbreak of the Ebola virus first emerged in the Guéckédou region of Guinea, at a crossroads with both Liberia and Sierra Leone
2/7 31 March
On 31 March the WHO confirmed the outbreak was now international, spreading first into Liberia's northern-most Lofa region
3/7 27 May
The virus spread to Sierra Leone at the end of May - just as agencies were hoping the worst was over
4/7 27 July
In Sierra Leone the virus boomed, and then it spread to Nigeria when the Liberian diplomat Patrick Sawyer flew from Monrovia to Lagos
5/7 9 August
The Nigeria cases sparked fears around the world, and there have now been deaths in Spain and Saudi Arabia involving people who had travelled to West Africa. The numbers of cases continue to rise
6/7 17-20 September
In mid-September, Senegal confirmed its first case linked to the Ebola outbreak, a development the WHO described as a top priority emergency. Numbers of cases continued to grow exponentially in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia, as experts warned they could number one million by January if not contained
7/7 8 October
Two cases of Ebola have now been reported in the US and Europe - the first times the virus has been contracted among health workers outside Africa
Berdan said: “When we initially treated Mr Duncan, we examined him thoroughly and performed numerous tests, but the fact that Mr Duncan had travelled to Africa was not communicated effectively among the care team, though it was in his medical chart.
He said the staff was still at an early stage of its Ebola preparedness training.
“Despite our best intentions and skilled medical teams, we did not live up to the high standards that are at the heart of our hospital’s history, mission and commitment.”
At the White House on Saturday, President Obama and team of senior advisers took steps to further anti-Ebola efforts in Dallas.
A government statement said it will "ensure that Dallas has all of the appropriate and necessary resources to diagnose any additional cases safely and effectively."Reuse content