‘Prognosis 0%’: a walk with death in a New York hospital

World

‘Prognosis 0%’: a walk with death in a New York hospital

We get a rare tour to show the reality of frontline workers, who themselves stare death in the face

Josie Ensor

There is an eerie quiet on the ER floor. The only noises disturbing the silence are an orchestra of ventilator pumps and the beeping of heart-rate monitors. The sickest patients are existing on ventilators, the rest heave through oxygen masks. One elderly woman with almost translucent skin gurgles as the intubation tube does its work.

“One, two weeks ago, this woman might not have even had a bed. It was bad, very bad,” says the doctor in charge of the department. “I’ve never in my career seen anything like what we have just been through.”

Last week, we visited the emergency room of a hospital in New York, which has become the coronavirus capital of the world. The state, as of Saturday, had more than 223,000 confirmed cases – more than any country except the US itself – and nearly 15,000 deaths. Overwhelmed and under-resourced hospitals here have been praying for the peak...

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