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UWS Staff Blame Supply Shortage For Nurse's Coronavirus Death

Patch logo Patch 5 days ago Anna Quinn

Slideshow by USA TODAY

UPPER WEST SIDE, MANHATTAN — Nurses at Mount Sinai West who have resorted to wearing trash bags as gowns say supply shortages are likely are to blame for the death of an assistant nurse manager who came down with coronavirus, according to the New York Post.

Nurses who spoke with the Post anonymously said supply issues that have plagued the Columbus Circle hospital for about a year became especially dire when COVID-19 patients began flooding in, so much so that the entire hospital recently ran out of protective gowns.

Some went as far as to say the desperate situation was to blame for the death of Kious Kelly, a 48-year-old assistant nurse manager who died Tuesday from the coronavirus.

“Kious didn’t deserve this,” one nurse told the Post. “The hospital should be held responsible. The hospital killed him.”

A photo shared on Facebook shows three nurses at Mount Sinai West wearing black plastic trash bags with the hashtags #heftytotherescue #riskingourlivestosaveyours and #pleasedonateppe, or "personal protective equipment," in the caption.

The caption reads, "NO MORE GOWNS IN THE WHOLE HOSPITAL. NO MORE MASKS AND REUSING THE DISPOSABLE ONES…NURSES FIGURING IT OUT DURING COVID-19 CRISIS.”

Kelly tested positive for the coronavirus two weeks ago and was admitted to Mount Sinai's flagship hospital on the Upper East Side last week, the workers told the Post.

His sister told the newspaper that Kelly was in the intensive care unit, and toward the end had trouble talking, but "thought he was OK." She agreed that her brother, who was healthy other than severe asthma, was infected during his work at the hospital.

a truck is parked in front of a building: Mt Sinai West nurses say shortages that have them using trash bags as gowns led to the an assistant nurse manager's death, the Post reports. © Map Data ©2019 Google. Mt Sinai West nurses say shortages that have them using trash bags as gowns led to the an assistant nurse manager's death, the Post reports. The nurse sources said they were using the same protective equipment between infected and non-infected patients after being told, "You get one for the entire time until this is over," by the hospital, the Post reported.

Some items, like masks, wipes and hand sanitizer, even started “disappearing through the night,” according to the nurses.

A Mount Sinai spokesperson contacted by the Post strongly disagreed that the hospital did not have proper equipment or were not protecting staff. A hospital spokesperson did not immediately respond to Patch's request for comment Thursday.

“We are deeply saddened by the passing of a beloved member of our nursing staff,” they said in a prepared statement. “This growing crisis has already devastated hundreds of families and turned our frontline professionals into true American heroes."

To read the full Post story about Mount Sinai West click here.

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