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|Ebola nurse Nina Pham close to settlement with Texas Health Board by J.Emily by Idowu Olabode : October 18, 2016, 04:26:23 PM|
Attorneys for Ebola nurse Nina Pham and Texas Health Resources told a judge today that they are close to reaching a settlement, according to sources who asked not to be named.
Both sides have agreed on the terms, but no paperwork has been signed and the settlement is not final. The deal could fall through.
Pham, Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas ICU nurse, filed the lawsuit after she contracted Ebola while caring for the first person in the United States diagnosed with the disease.
Pham, now 28, sued Texas Health Resources, which owns the hospital, saying the company did not properly train and protect its staff to care for Thomas Eric Duncan, a Liberian man who died in October 2014. She also alleged that THR violated her privacy by releasing information about her condition.
THR has denied the claims and said it did not violate Pham's privacy. The company has also said its staff was properly trained and the protective gear that was used followed Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines.
In what at the time was a dramatic moment in television news, an employee of THR walked into Pham’s hospital room while she was being treated for Ebola and filmed her in her hospital bed. He asked her, “Do you need anything?” and told her not to cry after she wiped away tears.
“I love you guys,” Pham said.
“We love you,” he said.
The video, which Pham and her attorneys say was shot without her consent and without advance notice, went viral after being posted on YouTube. THR said Pham signed a form granting permission to release information. But her attorneys said she was not able to grant consent because a doctor wrote in her file that she was not competent to make “end of life” health care decisions.
One of Nina Pham's attorneys, Charla Aldous, and a spokesman for THR declined to comment.
The case was set to go to trial this week but was delayed because another case in the same court had not concluded. Pham's case was expected to begin 48 hours after the other trial ends.
Pham first detailed the chaotic scene inside the hospital’s ICU in an exclusive interview with The Dallas Morning News in the spring of 2015. Pham said she and her fellow nurses made decisions about safety protocol, increasing the protection above the gloves, gowns and masks recommended at the time. They not only treated Duncan but also mopped floors, disposed of medical waste and showered after leaving his room.
Days later, that same team cared for Pham after she drove herself to the hospital with a fever and ultimately tested positive for the virus. Another Presbyterian nurse, Amber Vinson, also contracted Ebola and recovered after caring for Duncan, who caught the virus in his native Liberia.
Pham has said she can't point to a particular moment when she contracted Ebola. She wasn't splashed with bodily fluid. There was no needle stick. No “uh-oh” moment.
She told The News last year that she had suffered hair loss, physical pain, insomnia and nightmares since recovering from Ebola. Doctors who cared for her at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Md., told Pham that some of those problems could be a result of the infection.
Since her recovery, Pham has met President Barack Obama, who even asked about her now-famous Cavalier King Charles spaniel, Bentley. The dog, now 3, was quarantined when Pham got sick but never caught the virus, creating another media sensation.
In the lawsuit, Pham asks for unspecified damages for physical pain and mental anguish, medical expenses and loss of future earnings. But she also wanted Texas Health Resources to acknowledge that it let down Pham and other front-line health care workers. She is also concerned about paying for health care for the rest of her life because so little is known about the long-term effects of Ebola and the treatments used to save her life.
Pham has remained on THR’s payroll.
Source : http://www.dallasnews.com/news/news/2016/10/17/ebola-nurse-nina-pham-lawsuit-texas-health-resouces
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