University of New Mexico Hospital administrators have threatened their front-line medical workers with disciplinary action for publicly raising concerns about their safety while treating patients during the coronavirus pandemic.
The warnings were made as the number of cases and deaths in the state attributed to COVID-19 continues to rise, and state officials have said hospitals could see a surge of patients in the coming weeks. Seven more adults – four in Bernalillo County – died amid New Mexico’s coronavirus outbreak, pushing the total to 51 deaths, state health officials said Friday.
Several UNMH nurses and other hospital employees this week raised concerns – primarily about the hospital’s stockpile of personal protective equipment, or PPE – during a protest outside the hospital and in interviews with the media. The employees said rules governing the use of the equipment have been changing regularly, raising concerns among the workers.