Traveling Nurse Says El Paso’s Coronavirus Surge Is Worse Than It Was During New York’s Crisis

According to a traveling registered nurse, doctors at the University Medical Center are not doing enough to save the lives of covid-19 patients in El Paso, KVIA News reports.

“We as nurses, it’s ok for us to be exposed, but you as doctors, you do not even come in there,” RN Lawanna Rivers said. “You can’t get exposed, but we can, and y’all are the ones making all the money.”
The nurse also stated UMC was not equipped to help its critical patients, pointing out its CPR procedures that she feels are stringent enough for patients’ coding.

“This hospitals policy was they only get three rounds of CPR, which was only six minutes, this out of all the codes we had, there is not a single patient that made it,” Rivers said.

Her claims also called out the center for not aggressively treating patients to help the survival rate and that one doctor’s wife received preferential treatment, which led to her surviving.

“If those doctors there would aggressively treat those patients from the beginning, a lot more would make it,” Rivers said. “The nurse that orientated me had one patient she was called the ‘VIP’ patient; she was a doctor’s wife. And when I say they pulled out all the stops for that woman, it was nothing that they didn’t do for that woman, and guess what she was the one patient that made it out of that ICU alive.”

UMC and other surrounding hospitals are overwhelmed with COVID-19 patients; there are long hours for staff and capacity issues. Rivers also addressed the pressures of communicating with patients’ family members.
“To have the families call you night after night after night for an update like anything was going to be different was horrific,” Rivers said. “To know that the only way that those patients were coming out of that pit was in a body bag, I am not ok from an emotional, mental standpoint.”

UMC released a statement to ABC-7, stating, “After watching the video, while we cannot fully verify the events expressed, we empathize and sympathize with the difficult, physical, and emotional toll that this pandemic takes on thousands of healthcare workers here and throughout our country. This particular travel nurse was at UMC briefly to help El Paso confront the surge of Covid-19 patients.”

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