Doctors at Wolfson Medical Center claim staff and equipment shortages have caused the deaths of several coronavirus patients.
A group of nine doctors and specialists from the coronavirus department met last week with the hospital’s director, Dr. Anat Engel, raising serious allegations of understaffing that led to neglect of patients and a severe shortage of medical equipment for nurses and doctors affecting coronavirus patients, including those in the hospital’s intensive care unit.
In a letter to Dr. Engel, one internist identified as “V” warned of a grim reality of medical staff who are “dedicated, whose hands are tied and they have to come to work every day knowing that even today someone will probably be injured or die, because we did not manage to identify his distress in time or we did not have the equipment and means to provide him with the medical treatment he deserved.”
The doctor claimed to speak on behalf of “many doctors in the department, senior and intern alike,” who were afraid to raise the issues themselves for fear of being fired. The purpose of the letter, V wrote, “was to raise an issue on the agenda so that we can together find a quick solution to this impossible situation.”
The letter detailed a severe shortage of manpower, claiming many of those in critical condition, especially those on ventilators, were not being supervised for hours at a time due to lack of manpower and that video cameras and monitoring devices were often not working.
“Hardly a day goes by that we do not encounter a patient with a low level of oxygen in the blood who is being ventilated with inappropriate respiratory measures for many hours – without anyone noticing,” the doctor wrote, adding that patients often cry out for hours before a staff member comes to them, alleging the coronavirus ward was collapsing under the burden.
The doctor documented one case of a patient who allegedly choked to death on his own phlegm because there was no one in the ward to check.