Detroit’s Sinai-Grace Hospital is in the midst of a health crisis related to the novel coronavirus.
The facility, part of the Detroit Medical Center system, told CNN that at least two patients have died in its emergency room hallways while seeking medical attention. The hospital has been overwhelmed as such by an overload of COVID-19 cases that healthcare workers can barely keep up.
Speaking candidly about the situation, five unidentified workers admitted that they don’t have enough staff to properly combat the situation. With most of the patients already headed to the ER already assumed to have COVIC-19, they’re lining hallways instead of being assigned to rooms, because there simply isn’t enough space.
“We’ve had patients die in hallway beds because the nurse didn’t find they didn’t have a pulse until it was too late,” an unnamed physician told CNN. “Each nurse has so many patients that by the time they come to check on their next one, there is a chance that patient may not have a pulse anymore.”
Detroit Medical Center communications and media relations director Brian Taylor told CNN is a statement: “Like many hospital systems, the demand to care for the ever-increasing number of patients is putting a strain on our resources and staff.” The Sinai-Grace is part of the Detroit Medical Center system. “Surge plans are in place at our hospital to handle the increase in patient volumes to ensure we provide the safest and most appropriate care for our patients.”
On Sunday night (April 5), Michigan’s Fox 2 reported that nurses at Sinai-Grace Hospital were sent home after refusing to see patients after complaining of being short-staffed. They were also dangerously low on protective equipment as well as masks.
“Sinai Grace decided to tell us to leave because we are understaffed and this is the amount of nurses we have for the night shift — 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. One is on orientation and they want us to go out there and accept 68 patients or something,” Sal Hadwan, ER nurse, stated in a live video streamed via Facebook.
While patients still received care for that evening, it was from the day shift workers who were forced to remain at work, effectively being asked to work for 24 hours straight.
With conditions like these on the frontline, it isn’t difficult to understand how patients can end up deteriorating to the point that they could potentially expire while waiting on pending care. It is an unfortunate reality we’re currently facing – but change inevitably starts with finding some sort of relief for essential healthcare workers who are doing their best each day to make a change.
Currently, Michigan has the third-largest number of COVID-19 patients in the U.S. behind New Jersey and New York, data compiled by Johns Hopkins University show.