The Dallas hospital that treated the first patient to be diagnosed in the U.S. with Ebola lied to Congress when it said its staff was trained to handle the deadly virus, a nurse who contracted the disease contends in a lawsuit filed Monday.
Nina Pham, who was an intensive care unit nurse at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas, says after being told last fall that she would be treating a patient suspected of having Ebola, “the sum total” of information she was given to protect herself was “what her manager ‘Googled’ and printed out from the Internet.”
She says in her lawsuit that the day after getting that information, the patient, Thomas Eric Duncan, tested positive for the disease. Duncan, who contracted Ebola in his native Liberia but started showing symptoms during a trip to the U.S., later died at the hospital. Pham, 26, and another nurse who treated Duncan, Amber Vinson, contracted the disease but recovered.
In a statement released through her lawyers, Pham said she felt she had no choice but to sue the hospital’s parent company, Texas Health Resources. “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,” she said.