A nurse in El Paso, Texas, has told of the 'horrific' conditions at hospitals in the city as the state grapples with one of the worst surges in coronavirus in the United States, and prison inmates are brought in to help carry the dead in morgues.
Registered nurse Lawanna Rivers took to Facebook to describe her time at the University Medical Center in El Paso where she claims patients were taken to a room called The Pit and given just three rounds of CPR before being pronounced dead.
In a video posted to Facebook November 7 she said: 'My first day at orientation, I was told that whatever patients go into the pit, they only come out in a body bag. I saw a lot of people die that I felt like shouldn't have died.
'This hospital's 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.'
Her shocking statement came as pictures taken Saturday show offenders, dressed in PPE gear, helping the El Paso County Medical Examiner's office carry the dead to refrigerated trucks amid a mounting death toll that threatens to overwhelm the state.
The virus that is surging throughout the U.S. has been unsparing across Texas where the latest figures show more than one million people have tested positive for the virus; more than 20,000 people have died across the state as of Monday.
In El Paso data released by the city Sunday confirms six more people had died from the virus. There were 981 new COVID-19 cases with more than 73,000 people testing positive in total. The city said there were seven additional deaths Monday bringing the death toll to 769. The deaths include two men and one woman in their 70s, two men and one woman in their 80s, and one woman in her 90s. All seven had underlying health conditions.
Last week daily deaths were increasing at a slightly higher rate with 15 additional deaths reported Saturday; 16 on Friday and 29 deaths reported Thursday. As of November 6 the death toll was 657, indicating the rise since then.
An El Paso County Sheriff's Office spokesman confirmed to The Texas Tribune that up to eight inmates have volunteered to carry out the work for $2 an hour. The inmates are not normally paid for their community work but are said to have 'refused to work unless they were compensated' for this task, the spokesperson confirmed.
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