DETROIT — Disturbing photos from a Detroit-area hospital show just how dire the coronavirus pandemic has gotten in the region.
Morgue space at Sinai-Grace Hospital in Detroit has grown scarce, leaving hospital officials to pile corpses in body bags refrigerated units. Another photo shows corpses being stored in a room meant for sleep studies.
In the last week, nearly a dozen nurses say the hospital is short-staffed and lacks extension cords needed to plug in vital monitors.
In a statement, the hospital says it has recently hired 38 nurses and "continue(s) to bring in additional nursing resources to help us care for patients as volumes have increased as a result of COVID-19."
The hospital says the coronavirus has caused a "greater than normal mortality rate in the Detroit community" and that patients in their care are treated with respect.
According to a database kept by Johns Hopkins University, there are more than 12,000 confirmed cases of the coronavirus in Wayne County, Michigan — the county that encompasses the hospital. There have been more than 800 deaths in the county since the outbreak began — the highest single-county death county outside New York state.
View the photos from the hospital below. Warning: They may be disturbing to some viewers.
Read Sinai-Grace Hospital's full statement below.
"The COVID-19 virus has caused significantly greater than normal mortality rates in the Detroit community. This has resulted in capacity issues at funeral homes and morgues outside of Sinai Grace Hospital. Patients who pass away at our hospital are treated with respect and dignity, remaining on-site until they can be appropriately released. Like hospitals in New York and elsewhere, we have secured additional resources such as mobile refrigeration units to help temporarily manage the capacity issue caused by COVID-19."
"Sinai-Grace sees more EMS traffic than any other hospital in metro Detroit and is the only hospital in Northwest Detroit. In addition, there are a large number of nursing homes in the area surrounding the hospital. Among the patient population served by Sinai-Grace, there are extremely high rates of underlying medical conditions such hypertension and diabetes, which puts people at higher risk for COVID-19. Sinai-Grace Hospital remains dedicated to its mission of providing quality compassionate care to the Detroit community."
"As for staffing at the DMC, we continue to bring in additional nursing resources to help us care for patients as volumes have increased as a result of COVID-19. We have recently hired 38 nurses and have used a variety of resources to help to supplement nursing staff including contracting with staffing agencies."
This story was originally published by Fatima Bangura on WXYZ in Detroit.