Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital's Apology Is Sincere, But It's Too Little, Too Late

The Dallas hospital that treated the first U.S.-diagnosed Ebola patient has been under intense scrutiny. After it was revealed that it had prematurely released Thomas Eric Duncan, who died last Wednesday, along with reports alleging appalling working conditions, Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital has apologized. While it's an appropriate course of action, it doesn't change the public's concern over their competence.

On Thursday, via remarks made by Dr. Daniel Varga, the chief clinical officer for Texas Health Resources, the medical group that oversees the Dallas hospital, Texas Health Presbyterian released the following statement:

It’s hard for me to put into words how we felt when our patient Thomas Eric Duncan lost his struggle with Ebola on October 8. It was devastating to the nurses, doctors, and team who tried so hard to save his life. We keep his family in our thoughts and prayers.

Unfortunately, in our initial treatment of Mr. Duncan, despite our best intentions and a highly skilled medical team, we made mistakes. We did not correctly diagnose his symptoms as those of Ebola. We are deeply sorry.

Also, in our effort to communicate to the public quickly and transparently, we inadvertently provided some information that was inaccurate and had to be corrected. No doubt that was unsettling to a community that was already concerned and confused, and we have learned from that experience as well.

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Dr. Varga did not specify what information the hospital reported inaccurately, which sort of negates the hospital's so-called efforts to be transparent. Perhaps that can be the first question for him when the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations probe into the matter further at a Congressional hearing scheduled for later on Thursday.

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While an apology was clearly overdue, the statement does little to calm our concerns. The sheer length of it, and the fact that it reads a bit like a laundry list (it's never a good sign when you have to start a paragraph with "Also" in an apology), just underscores the hospital's incompetence.

On Wednesday, the National Nurses United union released a shocking statement detailing allegations from several nurses at the Dallas hospital about its sloppy Ebola care. If any of it is true, the hospital might have a lot more to apologize for. Image: Getty Images (2)