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Dallas Hospital Nurses Threatened With Being Fired if They Talked to the Press About the Horrifying Lapses in Ebola Containment

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A nurse's union is claiming that healthcare workers who cared for Thomas Eric Duncan, the Liberian national who became the first Ebola patient on U.S. soil, were told by hospital administrators to keep quiet about treatment conditions at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital or they would be fired.

As reported by The Associated Press (AP), Deborah Burger of National Nurses United, a union that does not represent nurses at Texas Presbyterian, convened a conference call to reporters recently to discuss what she said were concerns of nurses at the hospital. Among other things, Burger said the nurses had to use medical tape to secure gaps in flimsy protective clothing, and that they were concerned about exposure of their necks and heads as they cared for Duncan, who died October 8.

The AP further reported:

RoseAnn DeMoro, executive director of Nurses United, said the statement came from "several" and "a few" nurses, but she refused repeated inquiries to state how many. She said the organization had vetted the claims, and that the nurses cited were in a position to know what had occurred at the hospital. She did not specify whether they were among the nurses caring for Duncan.

Also, nurses said that Duncan's lab samples were sent through the hospital's pneumatic tube network, which may have resulted in contamination of the specimen delivery system. And they said hazardous waste -- sheets, protective outerwear, towels, etc. -- were allowed to pile up to the ceiling in Duncan's room.

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