NYC Nurses Go On Strike, A 4-Month-Old Baby Pays The Price

Mount Sinai Hospital, located in Manhattan, has launched an internal investigation into the tragic death of a 4-month-old baby in the neonatal intensive care unit, according to a report that was released by the New York Post. During the time of the child’s passing, approximately 7,000 nurses in the city of New York walked off the job as part of a protest concerning the need for increased staffing and higher pay.

TheBlaze is reporting that internal communications that were obtained by news outlet Gothamist reveal the hospital started the investigation into the death of the infant a week ago.

Sources that worked in the NICU stated that the infant, a boy, suffered from a severe hart condition.

“On the morning of January 11, the third day of the nurses’ strike, hospital staff overlooked the infant’s low blood count for several hours. Sources told Gothamist that seasoned NICU nurses would immediately have escalated the lab results. However, at the time of the strike, the NICU was staffed by non-union nurses who did not have as much experience as the usual staff,” TheBlaze said.

“These babies can get very sick very quickly. … That’s why subtle things you see are important to report, and highly trained NICU nurses do that,” one source, who worked in the NICU during the strike, said during an interview with the outlet.

“I’ve seen and done a lot of difficult things in my career. I’ve held children when they died. But this was especially traumatizing,” the source continued. “I’ve been having nightmares every night.”

Another source then said that some of the infants received their much needed medication hours late on several different occasions.

“They put nurses in there who had zero NICU experience,” the source said to the Gothamist. “Parents felt like they couldn’t leave their child’s bedside during the strike.”

TheBlaze report continued, “A physician in the Mount Sinai health system reported that NICU doctors picked up responsibilities typically assigned to nurses, including feeding, taking vitals, and administering medicine.”

In September 2022, the union issued a warning to the hospital about the potential of a strike. Close to 7,000 nurses ended up walking off the job in January, taking to the streets to picket and protest for additional staff and increased pay.  As a result of the protest, Mount Sinai Hospital and Montefiore Medical Center in the Bronx were forced to take nonemergency surgeries and reschedule them, along with redirecting ambulances to other medical treatment facilities, and even bring on temporary staff members.

A spokesman working for Mount Sinai spoke with the Gothamist and stated the NICU was “appropriately staffed” with 17 nurses.

On Tuesday, the hospital declined requests for a comment about the investigation into the infant’s death.

Well, this is a horrible situation, isn’t it? The death of a child, while in the hospital, should never be something that happens, especially because of a strike. Something should have been done to ensure all those in the intensive care unit had adequate care. Ultimately, this falls back on the hospital. How did they allow this situation to get so bad that it became necessary, in the eyes of the nursing staff, to walk out on strike?

Let’s hope this never happens again.

Notice: This article may contain commentary that reflects the author's opinion.

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