Less than two months ago, the threat of the Ebola virus dominated our news. We were tracking the transport of recently diagnosed Americans from one hospital to another and frantically retracing their steps to determine where others may have come in contact with the often fatal virus. Questions were being raised as to how someone with Ebola was allowed into our country. Demands were made of our politicians to stop air travel from certain areas. We wondered how long it would be before Ebola reached dire levels right here in the United States.
But then the story seems to have all but disappeared.
There are no active cases of Ebola in our country right now, and the virus never spread beyond a few health care workers who cared for others who were infected. But the crisis is still quite real in Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone, where a state of emergency continues and entire families continue to die. And in the United States, we are now discussing what went wrong and how our response can be improved in the future.
Dr. Joseph Howard Meier, who was one of the initial physicians to examine Thomas Eric Duncan during Duncan’s first visit to the emergency room of Texas Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas now admits that he did not notice the reading of a 103 degree temperature that had been noted in Duncan’s chart. As is well known, Duncan later died from Ebola in that same hospital. When questioned as to what he would have done differently in retrospect, Meier responded that it is impossible to know. I sense that this answer will not be sufficient and the legal and political discussions will continue.
Medical professionals face scrutiny every day, and it’s no wonder because people’s lives are at stake when they are working. If you are a doctor or a nurse and you are facing a threat to your professional reputation, Bertolino LLP can help. We have attorneys who specialize in defending medical licenses. Do not go it alone if you have been presented a formal complaint. Let us stand with you. Please contact us today.