Patients avoiding Dallas hospital where Ebola hit

FILE - In this Oct. 16, 2014 file photo, Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas staff line the drive that exits the emergency room as they wait for an ambulance carrying Ebola patient Nina Pham to depart, in Dallas. Pham, a nurse at the hospital was diagnosed with the virus after caring for Thomas Eric Duncan who died of the same virus. Amber Vinson, another nurse diagnosed, was taken to a similar location in Atlanta. For all the strengths of Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas, the first U.S.-diagnosed Ebola patient walked through the seemingly weakest link in its medical armor: the emergency room. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez, File)

DALLAS (AP) – The Dallas hospital where a man diagnosed with Ebola died and two nurses were infected with the virus has seen patients flee the hospital, with a more than 50 percent decline in visits to its emergency room since the crisis began.

Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas said in financial statements Wednesday that its revenue fell 25 percent in the first 20 days of October, a period that began shortly after Thomas Eric Duncan was admitted into the hospital with Ebola.

Visits to its emergency room were down 53 percent during that time, and its daily patient census fell 21 percent. Operating-room surgeries were also down 25 percent.

A sign points to the emergency room at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital  where Thomas Eric Duncan, the Ebola patient who traveled from Liberia to Dallas,  is being treated Saturday, Oct. 4, 2014, in Dallas.     Duncan remains in isolation, where he was listed in critical condition Saturday. At the end of the week, Texas health officials said they had narrowed to about 50 the group of people they were monitoring who had some exposure to Duncan. (AP Photo/LM Otero)
A sign points to the emergency room at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital where Thomas Eric Duncan, the Ebola patient who traveled from Liberia to Dallas, is being treated Saturday, Oct. 4, 2014, in Dallas. Duncan remains in isolation, where he was listed in critical condition Saturday. At the end of the week, Texas health officials said they had narrowed to about 50 the group of people they were monitoring who had some exposure to Duncan. (AP Photo/LM Otero)

The numbers reflect the serious concerns in North Texas about the hospital’s handling of Ebola. The hospital has criticized for making repeated mistakes, including allowing Duncan to leave its emergency room Sept. 26 after he came on his own with a fever and other symptoms of Ebola.

MORE: Hospital of Ebola patient posts poor ER benchmarks

Duncan returned two days later by ambulance and was diagnosed with Ebola. After he was admitted, two of its nurses, Nina Pham and Amber Vinson, became infected with the virus themselves. Pham and Vinson were transferred to other hospitals for treatment.

The hospital’s parent company, Texas Health Resources, remains profitable and has more than $3 billion cash on hand. It said in one filing that it has enough resources to weather any long-term damage.

PHOTOS: CDC Ebola Virus Q&A

The company also said it believes its insurance will cover any damages due to the Ebola cases, and that no lawsuits have been filed against Presbyterian Dallas.

Presbyterian Dallas is responsible for about 17 percent of the chain’s revenue, according to Moody’s Investors Service.

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(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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