EBOLA IN SPAIN

Doctor to take Spanish Ebola victim Teresa Romero to court

Physician claims nursing assistant failed to inform her of contact with infected patients

Nursing assistant Teresa Romero on the day she was discharged from hospital, on November 5.
Nursing assistant Teresa Romero on the day she was discharged from hospital, on November 5.Luis Sevillano

A primary care physician who treated Teresa Romero prior to her admission in hospital has decided to sue the Spanish Ebola survivor.

According to the doctor, Romero never informed her that she was a nursing assistant who had worked directly with infected patients at Carlos III hospital in Madrid, and was thus at risk for the disease herself.

Romero stated in a television interview that she failed to tell her doctor about her contact with Ebola

Romero was sent home on October 2 with a prescription for ordinary painkillers. Four days later, she was admitted into hospital after becoming the first case of Ebola transmission outside of West Africa.

The doctor herself was then considered to have had direct contact and was kept in isolation for close to a month, along with around 20 other people that Romero interacted with in the days prior to her admission.

In a telephone interview with a television program two days after she went into isolation at Carlos III, Romero stated that she failed to tell her doctor about her contact with Ebola.

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Asked by the host of Las Mañanas, aired on the private network Cuatro, why she was not admitted into hospital on the same day that she went to see her doctor, Romero replied: “I didn’t tell my doctor that I’d had contact with Ebola; my doctor cannot be to blame because I did not tell her I was in contact with Ebola.”

After her recovery, however, the nursing assistant said through her lawyer that she did in fact inform her physician about her line of work.

Now, the physician, whose name has not been released, will seek a mediation hearing ahead of a lawsuit against Romero for defamation and slander.

The doctor said that Romero “in no way” informed her “about having been in contact with Ebola patients”

Through her lawyer, the doctor states that Romero “in no way” informed her “about having been in contact with people diagnosed with Ebola” during her appointment at Pedro Laín Entralgo primary care center in Alcorcón.

Being unaware of this, the doctor says she examined the patient “with no protection measures, without gloves or a mask.” On the afternoon of October 6, she received a call from the epidemiology department informing her that she had become “a high-risk contact.”

Romero herself and her husband are suing the Madrid health department for putting down their dog as a preventive measure. They are also taking legal action against the regional health commissioner, Javier Rodríguez, for stating in public that Romero had lied to her doctor and that she had made a mistake putting on her protective suit while caring for an Ebola patient.

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