Medical staff at a New York hospital appear to have resorted to using garbage bags for personal protection due to a severe supplies shortage during the coronavirus pandemic.
A photo shared to social media showed nurses at Mount Sinai West Hospital in Manhattan wearing large plastic garbage bags as makeshift protective gowns over their scrubs. They’re also shown proudly holding a box of garbage bags.
“NO MORE MASKS AND REUSING THE DISPOSABLE ONES…NURSES FIGURING IT OUT DURING COVID-19 CRISIS.”
The shortage of medical supplies referred to as ‘PPE’ (personal protective equipment) in the US, particularly in the coronavirus hot spot of New York City, has been a serious issue since the pandemic took hold of the nation.
Mayor Bill de Blasio has pleaded with President Trump and Vice President Mike Pence for more masks and ventilators for New York City, warning that many more people will die from COVID-19 unless they receive urgent supplies.
Some staff at the Mount Sinai West Hospital have linked the lack of medical supplies including PPE to the recent death of an assistant nursing manager.
Kious Kelly, 48, died from coronavirus after testing positive to the highly infectious disease two weeks ago. He was admitted to a larger hospital on the Upper East Side in Manhattan last Tuesday and by the following week he was dead.
“Kious didn’t deserve this,” one nurse told New York Post.
“The hospital should be held responsible. The hospital killed him.”
“He was willing to help others in need, especially in this coronavirus outbreak,” another nurse said.
A different nurse added that there had been “issues with supplies for about a year” and revealed some staff had also been hiding supplies “because even the supply room would have nothing most of the time.”
“But when we started getting COVID patients it became critical,” the nurse reportedly said.
Sanitiser, wipes and masks also began to disappear from the hospital.
In even more startling reports from the hospital’s nurses, they said the same PPE was being used between coronavirus patients and non-infected patients.
“We had to reuse our masks, gowns and the (face) shield,” a nurse said.
“We were told, ‘You get one for the entire time until this is over’.”
The hospital denied the New York Post’s reports of insufficient PPE for staff and that nurses were not being adequately protected from infection.
The sister of the deceased nurse, Marya Sherron, said that she “absolutely” believed her brother – who was an asthma sufferer – became ill from his work at the hospital.
“He told me he had the coronavirus,” she said.
“He was in ICU but he thought he was OK. He didn’t think it was serious as it was.
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