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Traveling nurse says El Paso’s Covid-19 crisis is worse than it was New York City

EL PASO, Texas --A traveling registered nurse is calling out University Medical Center claiming the hospital is not doing enough to save lives. Her criticism aimed at UMC was mainly directed at doctors, claiming some won't tend to Covid-19 positive patients.

"We as nurses, it's ok for us to be exposed but you as doctors, you do not even come in there," Lawanna Rivers said. "You can't get exposed but we can, and y'all are the ones making all the money."

Rivers also makes claim that UMC does not do enough to help critical patients. Rivers makes reference to patients coding, and UMC not having a stringent enough CPR procedure.

"This hospitals policy was they only get three rounds of CPR which was only six minutes, this out of all the codes we had, there is not a single patient that made it," Rivers said.

Rivers believes UMC is not treating patients aggressively enough to increase their survival rate, even alleging preferential treatment to a doctor's wife led to the patient surviving.

"If those doctors there would aggressively treat those patients from the beginning a lot more would make it," Rivers said. "The nurse that orientated me had one patient she was called the 'VIP' patient, she was a doctor's wife. And when I say they pulled out all the stops for that woman, it was nothing that they didn't do for that woman and guess what she was the one patient that made it out of that ICU alive."

Along with the long hours for staff, and the capacity issues all area hospitals are dealing with, Rivers felt an added pressure speaking to family members asking about patients.

"To have the families call you night after night after night for an update, like anything was going to be different was horrific," Rivers said. "To know that the only way that those patients was coming out of that pit was in a body bag, I am not ok from an emotional mental standpoint."

ABC-7 reached out to UMC for a response to these allegations, they issued the following statement.

"After watching the video, while we cannot fully verify the events
expressed, we empathize and sympathize with the difficult, physical and
emotional toll that this pandemic takes on thousands of healthcare workers
here and throughout our country. This particular travel nurse was at UMC
briefly to help El Paso confront the surge of Covid-19 patients."

Below is this nurse's full 50-minute video commentary to view.

Article Topic Follows: Health

JC Navarrete

El Paso native JC Navarrete co-anchors ABC-7’s weekend newscasts and reports during the week.

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