A nurse working at the ICU got suspended after using money donated via GoFundMe to purchase protective equipment and distributing the PPE to her colleagues.
Olga Matievskaya of Newark Beth Israel Medical Center was in charge of a fundraising team consisting of twelve other health workers who aimed to collect funds to buy PPE.
“PPE are desperately and urgently needed for health care frontliners staff in ICU/CCU. Money will be used to order overalls, shoe covers, masks, filters for respirators, sanitizers and wipes,” the team wrote.
After raising some $12,000, Matievskaya ordered several hundred face masks and caps, as well as thousands of shoe covers, from eBay.
Once the PPE arrived, the nurse distributed it to her colleagues at the hospital only to face a backlash and suspension from the management.
As ProPublica have reported, the medical center’s spokesperson explained that the nurse was temporarily suspended for “inappropriately distributing unauthorized medical supplies.”
“No employee is allowed to distribute unauthorized medical supplies within the hospital,” the officials insisted.
As one of the nurse’s colleagues claimed after the suspension took place, all that the staff wants is sufficient PPE to “give these patients the optimal care that they need.”
“We understand this is what we signed up for. Just provide us with sufficient [PPE] so we can give these patients the optimal care that they need, and so we aren’t contaminating others or ourselves,” they said.
The incident follows as thousands of health workers from all around the world are facing a shortage of personal protective gear due to the coronavirus pandemic.
While some hospitals and health workers are resorting to alternative solutions to prevent exposure to the deadly virus, others are seeking help in the form of donations.
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