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National Nurses United: U.S. healthcare workers die of coronavirus due to lack of protection

Christian Fernsby |
More than 1,700 medical workers in the United States have died of coronavirus, and many of the deaths were due to inadequate personal protective equipment (PPE), according to a report from the National Nurses United, the country's largest nurses' union.

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Topics: U.S.   

As of Sept. 16, "an estimated 1,718 healthcare workers, including registered nurses, have died of COVID-19 and related complications while working in healthcare settings," said the report released last week, adding that although the figure is higher than what has been reported elsewhere, "it is a conservative estimate."

The report noted that many of the deaths would have been prevented "if greater effort had been made to plan for and overcome the pitfalls of just-in-time supply chain management."

The ongoing failure to take action in scaling up the capabilities for the stockpiling and rapid distribution of PPEs is costing the lives of registered nurses, other healthcare workers and patients, it said.

What's more, the report noted there are at least 258,768 cases of coronavirus infection in healthcare workers, roughly 66 percent higher than the 156,306 cases reported by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Cases have been documented using media reports, social media, obituaries, union memorials, federal and state reporting and the organization's internal reporting, it added.

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