October 9th, 2014
10:00 PM ET

Family: Thomas Eric Duncan was treated unfairly 

Thomas Eric Duncan was the first person diagnosed with Ebola in the U.S. He is now the first person to die from the disease in this country. His nephew released a statement saying:

"Eric Duncan was treated unfairly. Eric walked into the hospital, the other patients were carried in after an 18 hour flight. It is suspicious to us that all the white patients survived and this one black patient passed away. It took 8 days to get him medicine. He didn't begin treatment in Africa, he began treatment here, but he wasn't given a chance."

CNN Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen has more on the questions about Duncan's care.

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Filed under: Ebola • Elizabeth Cohen • Thomas Duncan
soundoff (3 Responses)
  1. travelerrn

    The fact of the matter is that we ONLY have the family's word that Mr. Duncan ever told anyone, (Nurse or Physician), that he had been in West Africa. If you believe that I have a bridge I want to sell you. He KNEW that he'd been exposed to Ebola because he handled the bodies of people who died of this disease. and he told NO ONE at the hospital.
    What Mr. Duncan did was selfish in the extreme! Not only did he expose every single person he traveled with on his plane to the U.S. but, also, his family, children, everyone in the ER when he first arrived and all the healthcare workers he contaminated when he was admitted. The other hospitals who accepted Ebola patients knew far in advance that they would be coming and those hospitals were given time to prepare and to start the paperwork to receive the experimental drugs that some have been given to combat this virus. Texas Presbyterian didn't have those luxuries. They were confronted by a patient who just "showed up" sick and contagious in an ambulance. There were NO CDC employees there in their Level Four biohazard suits to shepherd this guy from his home to a hospital isolation ward. What Texas Presbyterian did was THE BEST THEY COULD GIVEN THE CIRCUMSTANCES.
    What is going on now is just Jesse Jackson's attempt to "get back into the news" after the embarassment of his many private pecadilloes were made public AND, yet another attempt, by some immigrants to slap a lawsuit on a hospital and walk away with a few million.
    WE, the American public, should sue them! Their family brought EBOLA to the U.S. and knowingly exposed hundreds of average Americans to this deadly disease. Texas Presbyterian shouldn't apologize to these people. They have nothing to be sorry for, their nurses acted heroically under pressure and they are now paying for it by being castigated in various news forums.
    No, I do not now work for and have never worked for Texas Presbyterian or anyone affiliated with that hospital. I'm just an ER nurse that is really sick and tired of seeing this kind of story about the "poor immigrants" blah-blah, who get better healthcare for free then I can afford for myself and my family as an American citizen. I'm tired of seeing nurses, who put their own lives on the line everyday caring for people with highly contagious diseases, blamed for following the wishy-washy protocols given to us by CDC and our hospital administrators and becoming ill with this and other life-threatening illnesses.
    Whenever I see CDC employees contacting any patient with this disease, I see them suited up with respirators and full hazmat suits THAT COVER EVERYTHING. Those are certainly NOT the guidelines they have given to us as healthcare professionals. If CDC really believes that this disease hasn't become an airborne virus then TAKE OFF YOUR RESPIRATORS AND HAZMAT SUITS AND TAKE YOUR CHANCES LIKE THE REST OF WE, THE NURSES, YOU OBVIOUSLY DON'T MIND PUTTING AT RISK!

    October 18, 2014 at 11:29 am |
  2. robinandersen9

    ahh, the hospital was informed that the white people coming in already _had_ Ebola, so they were ready for the situation. Mr Duncan (from what I know from the news) did not say he had been exposed to Ebola. I don't believe this is a black/white thing but I could be wrong

    October 11, 2014 at 1:21 am |
  3. kerplunk112

    the likely truth is that he was getting better and they did not want to risk giving him an experimental drug, they was no need. even FDA approved drugs are riddled with side effects and are prescribed based on cost benefit analysis i.e. is the benefit of the drug great enough to outweight its risks. as he worsened they gave him the drug due to the above. anyways the only ppl who know the reasoning are the doctors and i believe they deserve the benefit of the doubt. Dr. A

    October 9, 2014 at 10:23 pm |

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