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Was man's death from Ebola due to a delay of diagnosis?

The US is in the midst of a scare involving Ebola. Once only found in other countries, the disease has spread into the US recently. Last week, the first person in the US diagnosed with the illness died and his family members are wondering if his death was caused by a delayed diagnosis.

Thomas Duncan died last Wednesday after battling Ebola. When the man initially presented himself at the ER with a fever and other symptoms, the hospital sent him home with antibiotics. Three days later he returned with full-fledged symptoms of Ebola. He quickly progressed into a worsened condition, eventually requiring a ventilator and dialysis as his organs shut down.

His family and some health officials believe if he would have received proper treatment when he originally arrived at the ER, he would be alive today. The failure to diagnose and delayed treatment may be a direct cause of his death.

Many Americans are now concerned with the spread of the disease. Although health and government officials are trying to assure the public that they are safe, the risk is still there. It is believed a person can recover from Ebola if they receive a quick diagnosis and are given Ebola-specific supporting medication. A delayed treatment can be catastrophic.

If a patient suffers from a worsened condition because of a delayed diagnosis, a legal professional skilled in medical malpractice can help these patients recover compensation. They can review medical records, interview experts and determine what happened. They can hold medical professionals accountable for their negligence and recover compensation for medical expenses, loss of wages, pain and suffering and other damages.

The delay in treatment for any disease can cause a worsened condition and even death. It is important that medical professionals are aware of all of the issues the patient presents and make sure they do everything possible to help them get better.

Source: Houston Chronicle, "Dallas Ebola death raises concern about treatment delay," Todd Ackerman, Oct. 8, 2014

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