thousands-of-healthcare-providers-tested-positive-for-covid-19-in-the-us
5
Thousands of healthcare providers tested positive for COVID-19 in the U.S.

Thousands of healthcare providers tested positive for COVID-19 in the U.S.

Last Reviewed : 12/17/2020
Thousands of healthcare providers tested positive for COVID-19 in the U.S.

As of April 14, 2020, there are more than 600,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases with more than 25,000 related deaths in the United States. Healthcare in the U.S. has been overwhelmed with the surge in the number of COVID-19 cases. New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Michigan and Pennsylvania are the worst-hit states in the country with each of them having more than 25,000 confirmed cases.

There has been a criticism that Trump’s administration did not respond to the pandemic in a timely fashion. Even Dr. Anthony Fauci, Director of National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases, country’s topmost expert in this field, commented that preventive measures should have been taken a little early.

Doctors and nurses are raising a huge outcry all across the country as there is a severe shortage of masks and gowns. While providers outside the U.S. are wearing hazmat suits that cover the entire body and taking all the precautions to prevent acquiring COVID-19, providers in the U.S do not even have N95 masks to take care of COVID-19 confirmed patients. Providers are using garbage bags to cover themselves as gowns are not available. Regular face masks, homemade masks, scarfs and bandannas are being used to protect themselves. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also changed their guidelines regarding N95 masks based on the availability of these masks.

According to BuzzFeed News, at least 5,400 nurses, doctors and other healthcare providers tested positive for COVID-19. As this data is not accurately kept, these numbers may be significantly lower than the reality. Several asymptomatic and mildly symptomatic providers were not even tested that can push the numbers even higher.

Number of healthcare providers who died due to COVID-19 is unclear. Nonetheless, even with the current death rate or fatality rate of 4% for U.S., estimated number of deaths is more than 200. This number could be significantly higher as healthcare providers are exposed to acutely ill patients with a very high viral load. The severity of illness and death rate can be higher when exposed to acutely ill patients.

A study that is not peer-reviewed yet looked at physician deaths worldwide. The average age of physicians died was 63.4 years, 90% of the physicians died were male. General medicine and emergency room doctors accounted for 40% of the deaths. Doctors from every specialty had to face the wrath. Ophthalmologists, ENT doctors, dentists and epidemiologists were among the physicians died due to COVID-19. Lack of PPE was cited as the common cause of death.

Healthcare providers are at the highest risk of acquiring COVID-19 from infected people. They are risking their lives to take care of the communities. Unfortunately, lack of PPE is taking their lives. As production from China is ramped up and many factories in the U.S. also started producing N95 masks, gowns, and face shields, PPE shortage should be resolved very soon. This should provide reassurance to our nation’s heroes who are dying to protect the communities from COVID-19 pandemic.

 

References:

  1. Edsel B Ing et al. Physician Deaths from Corona Virus Disease (COVID-19). medRxiv 2020.04.05.20054494; doi: https://doi.org/10.1101/2020.04.05.20054494

Please leave your comments:



Related Articles