A young doctor who was allegedly forced to wear the same face mask for weeks due to lack of PPE has died of COVID-19 after battling the virus for two months.
28-year-old Adeline Fagan was a dedicated OB/GYN doctor from LaFayette, New York, who was in contact with infected patients while doing her job.
Despite her risky situation, the young doctor wasn’t provided with a new N95 mask for several weeks in a row according to her devastated family.
Fagan was working at the HCA Houston Healthcare West’s emergency unit when she contracted the novel coronavirus back in July.
As the doctor’s family suggested, the lack of PPE contributed to Fagan’s death by forcing her to repeatedly wear the same N95 mask and therefore increasing her risks of contracting the virus.
“Adeline had an N95 mask and had her name written on it. Adeline wore the same N95 for weeks and weeks, if not months and months,” the doctor’s younger sister Maureen said in an interview with The Guardian.
In response to the family’s accusations, the hospital in question told The Guardian that their employees are provided with new masks at the beginning of their shift if they turn in their used masks beforehand.
“Our protocol, based on CDC guidance, includes colleagues turning in their N95 masks at the conclusion of each shift, and receiving another mask at the beginning of their next shift,” Chief Medical Officer Dr. Emily Sedgwick said.
Fagan tested positive for coronavirus shortly after experiencing flu-like symptoms on July 8. After weeks of battle with the disease, the doctor, whose lungs were giving up, had to be placed on a ventilator and later on extracorporeal membrane oxygenation because she wasn’t “responding well to the ventilator.”
After being placed on ECMO, the 28-year-old suffered a brain bleed which can be a side effect of the treatment according to Fagan’s father.
“The neurosurgeon said it was a ‘1 in a million’ chance she would even survive the procedure, but that Adeline would have several severe cognitive and sensory limitations if she did survive,” he said of the emergency surgery his daughter had to undergo.
“Everyone was crushed by the events, the nurses, the doctors, and, of course, us. The doctor said they have seen this type of event in COVID patients that spend time on ECMO.”
Despite her brave fight with COVID-19, the young doctor passed away on September 19. May she rest in peace.
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