At one point only two nurses were working to care for 26 patients with 10 ventilators, an ER nurse said

By Georgia Slater
April 08, 2020 01:59 PM
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Emergency room nurses are calling for additional help on the frontlines amid the coronavirus pandemic, however, in several facilities — including a leading hospital in Detroit — the requests from essential workers are being met with opposition.

On Sunday, the night shift ER nurses at Sinai-Grace Hospital staged a sit-in after demanding that hospital administrators bring in more nurses to assist with their overwhelmed emergency room, a doctor at the hospital told CNN.

After four hours, administrators told nurses that they would have to work or would be forced to leave; hospital officials also said they would not be scheduling extra nurses.

ER nurse Sal Hadwan streamed live on Facebook after the incident, sharing with viewers that after so many days of being overworked, Sunday was “a breaking point” for the nurses at his hospital.

“Because we cannot safely take care of your loved ones out here with just six, seven nurses and multiple [ventilators] and multiple people on drips. It’s not right. We had two nurses the other day who had 26 patients with 10 [ventilators],” he said.

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As of April 8, there have been at least 18,852 confirmed cases of coronavirus and 845 deaths, according to a New York Times database.

For more than three weeks straight, the Sinai-Grace ER has had more than 110 patients, Hadwan added.

RELATED: Will the U.S. Ever Go Back to Normal? Experts Answer More Questions About CoronavirusJamie Brown, the president of the Michigan Nurses Association, told CNN, “Until hospitals start taking the concerns of nurses seriously, it’s only a matter of time before more actions like these occur.”Detroit Medical Center Communications Manager Jason Barczy, however, said the organization was “disappointed” in the nurse’s sit-in.On Monday, Hadwan noted that the hospital would be bringing in four extra nurses to aid in the night shift, according to CNN.

As information about the coronavirus pandemic rapidly changes, PEOPLE is committed to providing the most recent data in our coverage. Some of the information in this story may have changed after publication. For the latest on COVID-19, readers are encouraged to use online resources from CDC, WHO, and local public health departments. To help provide doctors and nurses on the front lines with life-saving medical resources, donate to Direct Relief here.