Coronavirus nurse who warned of supplies shortage at Kansas hospital dies of Covid 19 just weeks before retirement – The Sun
A NURSE who warned of a supplies shortage in the hospital where she worked has died of Covid-19 just weeks before her retirement.
Celia Yap Banango, a Research Medical Center (RMC) nurse in Kansas City, Missouri, died on Tuesday night after contracting the coronavirus.
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Mrs Banango, who worked her entire career as a nurse, was scheduled to retire this week.
She reportedly was one of the many workers who had been raising alarms over insufficient supplies of personal protective equipment – such as gloves, masks and gowns – at the Kansas hospital.
Charlene Carter, a nurse who worked with Ms Banango for seven years, said in late March they treated a Covid-19 patient but were not wearing N95 masks or any of the equipment used when battling coronavirus.
Ms Carter, who described her fellow nurse as "funny", told KCUR: "It's horrible to find out she didn't make it.
"I just feel like things may have gone differently had we had the proper protective equipment that we needed to care for our patient that night."
Mrs Banango left the Philippines to move to the US in the 1970s and spent 40 years working as a nurse.
Her husband and two sons called her "a hero" for her efforts during her career – including during the coronavirus pandemic.
They said she wanted to go back to work to help fight the outbreak of Covid-19 and "was prepared to do so".
Her family told 41 Action News: "The world lost a good one, but heaven gained one."
In a statement, spokesperson Christine Hamele wrote that HCA Midwest Health was conserving equipment to prevent shortages, but she denied the hospitals lacked needed safety equipment.
She wrote: “We currently have adequate supplies of PPE, and are doing everything in our power to ensure we continue to have enough to protect our colleagues as they provide care to patients."
However, Pascaline Muhindura, a nurse and union representative who has been treating Covid-19 patients at Research Medical Center, said there have been no significant improvements in the availability of safety supplies in recent weeks.
She said: “We have not seen any difference in the way they were being rationed – N95s, respirators, surgical masks or gowns."
It comes after a top emergency room doctor died by suicide after struggling with seeing patients "die every day from coronavirus", according to her father.
Lorna Breen, 49, medical director of the New York-Presbyterian Allen Hospital in Manhattan, died in Charlottesville, Virginia, where she had been staying with her family – after contracting the bug herself.
Her father described her as being "truly in the trenches on the frontline" and said she had found it unbearable watching patients die non-stop.
There are now more than one million coronavirus cases in the US, with over 56,800 deaths reported.
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