Dr. Adeline Fagan, a 28-year-old doctor from Syracuse who died after contracting COVID-19, wore the same mask for “weeks if not months” while treating coronavirus patients, The Guardian reports.
“Adeline had an N95 mask and had her name written on it,” Maureen Fagan, her sister, told the newspaper.
“Adeline wore the same N95 for weeks and weeks, if not months and months,” she added.
Fagan worked as a resident OB-GYN at HCA Houston Healthcare West in Texas, and her family believes that her time treating patients there in July led to her death. HCA West is a part of the hospital chain HCA Healthcare, which has come under fire from a national nurses union over alleged “willful violation” of workplace safety policies.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend that N95 masks be reused no more than five times at the most. HCA West chief medical officer Dr. Emily Sedgwick told the Guardian that the hospital follows of the the CDC’s guidelines on the coronavirus.
“Our protocol, based on CDC guidance, includes colleagues turning in their N95 masks at the conclusion of each shift, and receiving another mask at the beginning of their next shift,” she said.