Kious Kelly was a nurse manager at a Mount Sinai West hospital, dealing with the wave of patients coming in infected with the COVID-19.
On March 18, Kelly texted his sister with some devastating news: He had tested positive for the coronavirus and was on a ventilator in the intensive care unit in a weak condition. He told his sister, he could text but not talk.
According to the N.Y. Times, in less than a week, Kelly was dead, due in part to his pre-existing issues with Asthma, possibly becoming the first New York City nurse to die from the virus.
Now Kelly’s colleagues at the hospital are angry. Some have complained on various social media channels that they did not have an adequate supply of protective clothing or masks on the front lines of treating the rapid spread of the coronavirus.
A nurse who worked with Mr. Kelly told the Times that the hospital had offered nurses one plastic protective gown for an entire shift, though normal protocol requires a change of gowns between interactions with infected patients.
The nurse, who spoke out anonymously because the staff member was not authorized to speak to the media, said Mr. Kelly had not used protective equipment, even though he regularly helped nurses on his team with hands-on care. The nurse even recalled a situation as recent as March 10th, where he helped a nurse take off her protective gear after working with a patient who tested positive for the virus, the nurse said.
Lucia Lee, A hospital spokeswoman, disputed the claim that the hospital had not had enough protective equipment for its staff, in an email to the Times. “This crisis is straining the resources of all New York area hospitals, and while we do — and have had — enough protective equipment for our staff, we will all need more in the weeks ahead,” Ms. Lee said in the statement.