🇬🇧

'It's been like a war zone': frontline doctors share accounts

Video credit: Reuters Studio
Published on March 27, 2020 - Duration: 02:20s

'It's been like a war zone': frontline doctors share accounts

Dr. Arabia Mollette, an emergency medicine physician at Brookdale University Hospital Medical Center in Brooklyn, New York, and Dr. Allon Mordel, a medical director at K Health in New York City, discuss what it's like to be on the frontlines of a 'medical war zone.'

Advertisement

'It's been like a war zone': frontline doctors share accounts

For some doctors in New York City and New Jersey, treating patients with COVID-19 feels like being in a "war zone." "Before I start my shift, I have to pray and meditate for at least 5 minutes to get my mind in the setting of going into this war that we're battling, which is the novel strain of the coronavirus," Dr. Arabia Mollette told Reuters Thursday (March 26) night.

She's an emergency medicine physician at Brookdale University Hospital Medical Center in Brooklyn, NY.

"We're trying to keep our head above water without drowning.

We are scared.

We're trying to fight for everyone else's life, but we're also fighting for our lives as well because we're also at the highest risk of exposure.

It's tough.

And many shifts that I've left from, after finishing my shift, I've cried." Mollette said her hospital doesn't have enough personal protective equipment and they've had to reuse their one-time use face masks.

"We're doing our best to take care of it, put a little hand sanitizer on it, wipe it down," she said.

"But it's tough because the masks are meant to be used only for single use.

And so it's been very difficult, but we're managing it.

We're doing our best to manage.

And it's not easy." Mordel said that at times even though he's working as hard as he possibly can, he can still "feel this tidal wave coming," but doesn't stop to think about it.

"This is something that I will address once it passes and that's when I will have time to sit and think," he said.

"But for now, I need to do and to act and to help." New York plans to build eight temporary hospitals to meet an expected surge in coronavirus patients, Governor Andrew Cuomo said on Friday, and the state estimates that demand for hospital capacity will peak in three weeks.

Cuomo said 44,635 people have tested positive in New York, up about 7,400 from Thursday, and that 519 New Yorkers have died from the virus, up from the previous day's total of 385 deaths.

The United States now has the most coronavirus cases of any country, with 84,946 infections and 1,259 deaths.

You are here