Currently, the hospitals and healthcare centres in all countries have turned into war zones as the doctors and nurses are fighting against the COVID-19 in the forefront. But in reality, they don't have proper attire and gear to secure themselves from the deadly virus. Now, a 48-year-old employee at a New York City hospital, where nurses are forced to wear garbage bags as gowns, has died of coronavirus.
The death of hospital staff
While New York is currently considered one of the most affected states, healthcare employees at Mount Sinai West hospital in Manhattan were asked to were thrash bags while treating COVID-19 patients. It has taken life out of Kious Kelly on Tuesday night, March 24. He was admitted in the same facility after he tested positive for Coronavirus, reported New York Post.
He was working as an assistant nursing manager at Mount Sinai West, which is like other hospitals that was severely hit by shortage of personal protective equipment (PPE) such as masks and isolation gowns due to excessive COVID-19 patients.
A picture, posted on Facebook showed that nurses working at the hospital were wearing garbage bags as an alternative of the protective gowns and the caption of the pictures states, "NO MORE GOWNS IN THE WHOLE HOSPITAL. NO MORE MASKS AND REUSING THE DISPOSABLE ONES...NURSES FIGURING IT OUT DURING COVID-19 CRISIS."
After the demise of the 48-year-old staff, Mount Sinai Health System wrote:
"We are deeply saddened by the passing of a beloved member of our nursing staff. The safety of our staff and patients has never been of greater importance and we are taking every precaution possible to protect everyone.
"But this growing crisis is not abating and has already devastated hundreds of families in New York and turned our frontline professionals into true American heroes. Today, we lost another hero - a compassionate colleague, friend and selfless caregiver."
Healthcare staff in danger
Later, four employees of the same hospital tested positive for the COVID-19. As per the report, there are around 40 Coronavirus patients admitted in the Mount Sinai West in New York which has reported around 18,000 cases.
After the death of Kelly, his nursing school classmate Annie K. Lee expressed her sorrow at his death in a Facebook post and issued a plea to the public to support healthcare workers. Annie wrote that "GIVE your unnecessarily stocked masks, N95s, N99s, gloves, isolation gowns, and Medical Protective Gear to your local hospitals."
Coronavirus attack on New York city
It should be noted that New York City has a population of more than eight million. As per the statistics, if the current statewide mortality rate held true, the death toll could exceed 40,000 in the city alone if half of all residents contracted Coronavirus. Mayor Bill de Blasio predicted on Wednesday, March 25 that half of all New Yorkers will eventually contract COVID-19.
He also slammed Senator Mitch McConnell for 'standing in the way' of the essential funding 'we need' as the two trillion dollars economic rescue package continued to hit snags in Washington. Meanwhile, Governor Andrew Cuomo said, "Our closeness makes us vulnerable" but it is true that "Your greatest weakness is also your greatest strength. And our closeness is what makes us who we are. That is what New York is."
On the other hand, employees who are currently risking their lives and going to work to treat patients revealed the reality behind the safety measures they are asked to follow in respective hospitals. One of the workers, a 34-year-old nurse from New Jersey, Sonja Schwartzbach who created an online document and invited many to share their experience at work revealed that hospital conditions were "far worse" than most people realized.
A Pennsylvania nurse said that the healthcare staff had received an email where the authority asked them not to remove gloves when in a room if they get soiled, but to use sanitizers over the gloves. The email also added that, "You also have to keep the same surgical mask on the entire shift. You only get an N95 if certain procedures are being done that would produce aerosols. This is absolutely unacceptable and puts all the staff, other patients and my family at high risk."