Medical records released by the family of Thomas Duncan, a patient at a Dallas hospital who died from Ebola Wednesday, show he had a fever, but he was sent home with an antibiotic prescription. Duncan was the first person to die from Ebola in the U.S. His family released 1,400 pages of medical records to the Associated Press Friday.
Duncan's temperature was 103 while he was in the emergency room at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital on Sept. 25. The fever was marked with an exclamation point in the hospital's record keeping system, according to the Associated Press.
Despite his symptoms and explaining to his doctors that he had recently returned from Libera, Duncan was sent home with a prescription for antibiotics and told to take Tylenol. Duncan had helped a pregnant woman to the hospital in Monrovia, Liberia, during his trip. She and others who came into contact with her later died.
The hospital continued to “closely review and evaluate the chain of events related to the first Ebola virus diagnosis in the United States," Wendell Watson, a spokesman for Texas Health Resources, the organization that oversees the hospital, said in a statement. The statement did not address Mr. Duncan’s 103-degree fever. In fact, the hospital initially claimed Duncan's temperature was 100.1.
Dr. Mark Lester, executive vice president of Texas Health Resources, told reporters that information about Duncan’s travel history was not “fully communicated” to the medical team. Lester said the medical team sent Duncan home because they thought he had a low-grade fever from a virus.
Watson said the hospital had “made changes to our intake process as well as other procedures to better screen for all critical indicators of Ebola virus,” the New York Times reported.