While a majority of our hospital negligence posts focus on the diseases and ailments that patients may contract, it is not uncommon for nurses and hospital staff to contract diseases when proper treating procedures have not been established, or when the proper equipment is not available to protect nurses and other workers.
This may have been the case when a handful of nurses contracted Ebola last fall. In what was a highly publicized event, two nurses from Texas Presbyterian Health System in Dallas were sickened after caring for a patient who exhibited symptoms and fell ill. The patient died, but the nurses (after being treated at a different hospital) eventually recovered.
One of the nurses is expected to file suit against Texas Presbyterian accusing the hospital of being negligent for not having the proper equipment or providing the proper training so that nurses can effectively treat patients who have Ebola. She is seeking money damages for pain and suffering, mental anguish and loss of future earnings.
According to a recent CNN.com report, the nurse is still employed by Texas Presbyterian, but she has not yet returned to work because she still suffers from fatigue and body aches. It is not clear whether these ailments are a result of the experimental drugs administered to her. Regardless, the case is an example of how hospital workers, just like patients can hold hospitals accountable for failing to use reasonable care in providing a safe working environment that is free from dangerous hazards.
It remains to be seen how the hospital will respond.