An assortment of photos have gone viral that feature nurses from Mount Sinai Hospital in Manhattan, New York who appeared to be wearing trash bags after having reportedly run out of personal protective gear. The images have raised a lot of questions as to why health care staff have not been given adequate resources to protect themselves during the outbreak of the coronavirus, according to Today.
The photos in question have featured nurses using trash bags not only as protective gowns, but also as gloves, masks and face shields. Some of these pictures have since been deleted while others continue to circulate on social media.
In one particular viral image, three nurses pose together, each of them wearing a black trash bag over their scrubs. The nurses’ faces are concealed as they wear masks and protective facial gear, one of them holding a box of Hefty garbage bags. The photo made its way across social media.
“NO MORE GOWNS IN THE WHOLE HOSPITAL Mount Sinai West, NO MORE MASKS AND REUSING THE DISPOSABLE ONES…NURSES FIGURING IT OUT DURING COVID-19 CRISIS…#innovativenurses #myheroes #heftytotherescue,” one Facebook caption reads.
Lucia Lee, the senior director of media for the Mount Sinai Health System, addressed concerns regarding the viral photo, emphasizing that if a staff member does not have adequate and safe protective gear, they will not be required to treat patients.
“When it comes to staff wearing personal protective equipment (PPE), the facts are very clear: We always provide all our staff with the critically important PPE they need to safely do their job. If an individual does not have their proper PPE, they do not go on the floor, period. Any suggestion otherwise is simply not accurate,” she said in a public statement.
While Lee was able to assure that hospital staff currently have enough protective gear to keep their health care workers safe, she did not promise that they wouldn’t require assistance in the near future. She emphasized that in the weeks ahead, the hospital will need increased support to accomplish their vital work.
Renatt Brodsky, the director of media and public relations for Mount Sinai, also commented upon the viral and very controversial photos. He emphasized that while the images showing the nurses wearing trash bags as hospital gowns were indeed troubling, they did not necessarily represent factual information. He also insisted that no nurse at the hospital was being forced to go out into the field without being properly equipped.
As The Inquisitr previously reported, New York City has been hit particularly hard by the coronavirus pandemic and in fact is home to more than half of the nation’s confirmed cases.