World / Science & Health

Texas hospital apologizes to victim's family for Ebola blunder

Reuters, AP

The Texas hospital that cared for Liberian national Thomas Eric Duncan, who died last week of the Ebola virus, apologized to his family on Thursday for being unable to save his life, the family said.

Duncan’s fiancee, Louise Troh, 54, said in a statement she received a call from a senior official at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital, who said the hospital was “deeply sorry” for the way Duncan’s case was handled.

The hospital has said it made a mistake discharging Duncan after he first came to the facility on Sept. 25, saying he was ill and had been in Liberia, one of the Ebola-hit counties in West Africa. Duncan, who was visiting his family in the United States, was later taken back to the hospital by ambulance on Sept. 28 and died on Oct. 8.

Since Duncan’s death, two nurses who cared for him have tested positive for Ebola despite wearing protective gear. More than 70 other health care providers who had contact with Duncan while he was in an isolation unit are being monitored for the virus and are unable to work.

Dozens of health care workers who had contact with him were asked Thursday to sign legal documents in which they agreed to stay home as authorities across the nation ramped up efforts to limit the virus’ spread.