Kious Kelly, a New York City nurse, who worked at Mount Sinai treating COVID-19 patients died Tuesday. His death comes shortly after photos surfaced online of nurses at the hospital wearing black garbage bags as a substitute for protective gowns.
Kelly, 48, died one week after being admitted to Mount Sinai’s flagship hospital.
“We are deeply saddened by the passing of a beloved member of our nursing staff,” the hospital said in a statement. “Today, we lost another hero – a compassionate colleague, friend and selfless caregiver.”
But while friends, family, and colleagues mourn Kelly’s death, a bigger issue is brought to light – the safety of hospital staff who are on the frontlines fighting the battle against the coronavirus.
The shortage of PPE has been well-documented, and it’s impacting every single healthcare worker. While everyday citizens and large companies are working hard to get masks and protective gear to nurses and doctors, staff are having to improvise with what they have.
According to reports, nurses at Mount Sinai blame Kelly’s death on the lack of proper PPE.
“Kious didn’t deserve this,” one nurse said. “The hospital should be held responsible. The hospital killed him.”
Another nurse reportedly said the hospital had issues with supplies before the coronavirus pandemic, and it only got worse. Once COVID-19 patients started coming to the hospital, staff were forced to use the same PPE between infected and non-infected patients.
The hospital denied the reports to The New York Post and in a statement on their Facebook page reiterated their pledge to keeping their staff safe.
“The safety of our staff and patients has never been of greater importance and we are taking every precaution possible to protect everyone.”
Kelly’s sister, Marya Sherron, said she believes her brother was infected at the hospital and though he had “severe asthma,” he was healthy.
“We are broken.”
My heart goes out to Kious Kelly’s loved ones and colleagues. We need to better protect those who are tirelessly working to protect us from this virus.
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