The New York Times

The New York Times 26 Mar 2020

'People Are Dying': Battling Coronavirus Inside a N.Y.C. Hospital

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An emergency room doctor in Elmhurst, Queens, gives a rare look inside a hospital at the center of the coronavirus pandemic. "We don't have the tools that we need."


House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Sunday criticized President Donald Trump's response to the coronavirus pandemic by saying that "as the president fiddles, people are dying."
In an interview with CNN's Jake Tapper, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says President Trump's response at the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic has been deadly.
BAME people are disproportionately affected by COVID-19, with official statistics indicating that black people are four times more likely to die from the virus than people from white backgrounds.

In the daily coronavirus press conference, the government expressed its concern over the figures and said it will not be shielding BAME people.

Some have suggested the number of ethnic minorities in key worker jobs could explain why this is happening.

#COVID19 #coronavirus #uk
Lots of people are taking part in WHO's #SafeHands challenge. Here's a doctor, Dr. Dave Meagher, to show you how it's done. #washyourhands

… show captions ↓
[Machine beeping]
“The frustrating thing about all of this
is it really just feels like it’s too little, too late.
Like we knew — we knew it was coming.
Today is kind of getting worse and worse.
We had to get a refrigerated truck
to store the bodies of patients who are dying.
We are, right now, scrambling to try
to get a few additional ventilators or even
CPAP machines.
If we could get CPAP machines,
we could free up ventilators for patients who need them.
You know, we now have these five vents.
We probably — unless people die, I suspect we’ll
be back to needing to beg for ventilators again
in another day or two.
There’s a mythical 100 vents out there
which we haven’t seen.
Leaders in various offices, from the president
to the head of Health and Hospitals,
saying things like, ‘We’re going to be fine.
Everything’s fine.’
And from our perspective, everything is not fine.
I don’t have the support that I need,
and even just the materials that I need, physically,
to take care of my patients.
And it’s America, and we’re supposed
to be a first-world country.
On a regular day, my emergency department’s volume
is pretty high.
It’s about 200 people a day.
Now we’re seeing 400 or more people a day.
At first, we were trying to isolate patients
with cough and fever and be more careful around them,
but we weren’t necessarily being
extra careful around all the other patients.
And then we started to realize that patients
who were coming in with no fever but abdominal pain
actually had findings on their X-rays and chest CTs
that were consistent with this coronavirus,
Covid-19.
So someone in a car accident gets brought in
and we get a CT scan of them, and their lungs
look like they have coronavirus.
We were seeing a lot of patients who probably had
Covid, but we didn’t realize.
Ten residents and also many, many of our nurses
and a few of the attending physicians got sick.
The anxiety of this situation is really overwhelming.
All of the doctors, it’s hard for us
to get tested even if we want to, even if we have symptoms.
We’re exposed over and over again.
We don’t have the protective equipment
that we should have.
I put on one N95 mask in the morning.
I need to have that N95 mask on for every patient I see.
I don’t take it off all day.
The N95 mask I wore today is also the N95 mask
I wore on Friday.
We’re always worried that we’ll be out of N95 masks.
What’s a little bit scary now is the patients
that we’re getting are much sicker.
Many of the young people who are getting sick
don’t smoke, they’re healthy, they have no co-morbidities.
They’re just young, regular people
between the ages of 30 and 50 who you would not expect
to get this sick.
So many people are saying it’s going to be OK,
everything’s fine, we have what we need.
And if this goes on for a month or two or three or five
like it did in China, and we’re already this strained,
we don’t have what we need.
I don’t really care if I get in trouble
for speaking to the media.
I want people to know that this is bad.
People are dying.
We don’t have the tools that we need
in the emergency department and in the hospital
to take care of them, and —
and it’s really hard.”

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