Health care workers have sacrificed their lives fighting Kovid. It is unclear how many people have died.


Monica Leah Newton said she turned on her car’s hazard light and drove 100 mph to pick up her mom, Eileen McRae, in the emergency room in Gulfport, Mississippi, where the older woman, Kovid-19, was on the floor Used to work as a nurse.

On the evening of August, McRae’s oxygen levels had dropped to levels provoking brain damage. Newton’s mother never returned home after testing positive for Kovid-19 at the hospital. She died two days later in November, at the same hospital where she treated coronovirus patients.

“I was really watching him slowly deteriorate,” Newton said of his mother, whom he called his best friend and hero. “She was losing everything I’ve ever seen in my mother. My mother is the strongest person in the world and she is being sucked in slowly by this virus. “

What bothers Newton, is that no one knows how many health care workers, like his mother, have died of coronovirus – the kind of sacrifice he made and the disease he suffered, he worked so hard to defeat Of.

As the number of American Kovid-19 deaths continues to rise, the deaths of front-line health care workers are largely unaccounted for. Doctors, nurses, paramedics and support staff have boldly taken a huge risk during the epidemic, the most consumed health crisis in more than 100 years, but there is no specific death count for them. These are the same people who have received a round of applause from the president and high-ranking members of government and industry at the end of their shifts and affidavits.

This is particularly difficult for Newton.

The last time she saw her mother, Newton shared the news that she had passed her board certificate test to become a registered nurse. Now working in a hospital in New Orleans, she strives to follow in her mother’s footsteps and make sure her hero is remembered.

“We don’t even know what or who we lost,” Newton said. “My mother served through this epidemic. He helped these people, and if my family did not say anything, he said that he is another number.

Calculating the exact number of American health care workers who have died of Kovid-19 and related complications is not easy and is advancing. There is no exact or central database with that information.

Dr., an anesthesiologist from Virginia. Claire Rezba holds a national rally near her Published on his Twitter account Since March, when the epidemic began across the United States.

I don’t think health care systems have done a service by not publicizing what is going on inside their walls.

She maintains her count, using media reports, social media, memorials and any other means. Rejba tweets every day about the deaths of nurses, doctors, emergency medical technicians, specialists and staff members.

His count has risen to around 1,700, a figure that is conservative.

“Every time I think it’s time to stop – because it’s hurting me, one aspect of it is that it hurts – I’ll see another story or some post,” Reza said. “And I think, ‘Okay, just this one more. I just have to make sure people see more of this.'”

“It seems like no one else is really there to lead on this,” she said. “It shouldn’t be me. I mean, it’s ridiculous.” In fact, it is ridiculous. “

A September report by Nursing Nurses National Nurse United estimated that more than 1,700 deaths among health care workers have been slightly higher than Rezaba’s since the onset of the epidemic.

As of the latest Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there are 955 deaths and over 288,000 infections of health care personnel on 22 December. Of those cases of Kovid-19 among health care workers, the CDC confirmed only 75.7 percent of whether a doctor, nurse, paramedic or support staff member died.

A spokesman for Health and Human Services said the number was not extensive and noted that state health departments may have more accurate data.

Critics of the federal coronovirus response say that the White House’s mediation could disrupt national calculations. The administration announced a sudden decision in July after the Department of Health and Human Services captured hospital coronovirus data collection from the CDC, making it difficult to follow hospital trends and reporting data.

“There is widespread resistance from the health care industry to transparently provide information about the fatalities of nurses and other health care workers due to Kovid-19,” National Nurses United said in its study. “At the same time, federal, state, and local governments have failed to bind healthcare facilities to provide this data.”

It is difficult to know which count is correct. According to the nursing union, only 15 states provide transition numbers for health care workers on a weekly basis, and it was not until May that nursing homes were required to provide their workers’ infection and mortality information to medical and Medicaid centers. The services.

While the public can now obtain information from nursing homes, hospitals are not required to share their data.

“I don’t think health care systems have done a service by not publicizing what’s going on inside their walls,” Reza said. “A lot of the deaths I get for health care workers are really secret. They swept under the carpet. “

On December 7, 2020, a staff member at the Kovid-19 ICU of United Memorial Medical Center in Houston laid his hands on a patient.Go to Nakamura / Getty Image File

Rejba emphasized that those deaths also included a huge amount of expertise and loss of knowledge that these health care workers had.

Newton said that is true of her mother, a nurse with decades of experience, who taught her elements of nursing that she said she could never learn in school.

“My mom fought 100 percent teeth and nails for her patients,” she said. “And we have lost what society has lost – we have lost someone who will fight for everyone and he must have come in contact with someone.”

The last time Newton was able to see her mother, the latter could not speak due to tubes in her mouth, but MacRae accepted the news that her daughter had passed the nursing board exam.

“He was liable, but he lost it,” Newton said sobbing. “She was not there yet.”

The federal government does not require hospitals to provide data on health care workers’ infection and mortality data, and there is no central reporting structure for it, said Catherine Hancock, chief care officer of the Cleveland Clinic, which employs 70,000 health care workers. staff.

She said the Cleveland Clinic tracks outbreaks in its medical facilities. It reports those figures and supports its staff through the hospital and quarantine. So far, it has resulted in one death, but employees remain physically and emotionally overwhelmed by the epidemic.

“We track it down and talk about it all day: not only are we clearly looking for our patients, but we are also seeing the number of caregivers who are out due to Kovid-19 , Those who are positive, those who are in the hospital and those who have returned to work, “Hancock said.” So we have a pretty good handle to be honest with you, and I don’t know why others have had so much difficulty. “

Without tracking these deaths, it is left to the families, friends and communities who have lost loved ones who were health care workers to ensure that their sacrifices are not forgotten. All of this comes in sharp relief for many as a holiday and the desire to check in with the family has arrived.

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