An ambulance pulls into the DMC Sinai-Grace Hospital emergency entrance amid an outbreak of the coronavirus disease in Detroit, Michigan, on April 14.
Emily Elconin / Reuters
Deborah Gatewood died from pneumonia last week after reportedly being refused coronavirus testing on four separate occasions by the hospital she worked at for 31 years.
According to Fox 2 Detroit, the 63-year-old phlebotomist first went to Beaumont Hospital, Farmington Hills on March 18 and requested a coronavirus test, but was sent home.
She visited the hospital three more times as her condition worsened but was reportedly denied testing each time. She died at Sinai-Grace Hospital on April 20.
Her daughter, Kaila Corrothers, told Fox 2 Detroit: “The fact that she got infected by doing the job she did for 31 years and she couldn’t get taken care of by her own family, meaning Beaumont, it’s sad. It is disheartening to say the least.”
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A 63-year-old healthcare worker was reportedly denied coronavirus testing four times from the hospital where she worked before she died, despite exhibiting worsening symptoms related to the virus.
Deborah Gatewood spent 31 years working at Beaumont Hospital, Farmington Hills, in Detroit, as a phlebotomist.
According to Fox 2 Detroit, Gatewood first went to the emergency room of Beaumont Hospital on March 18 and requested a coronavirus test, but was sent home.
Her daughter Kaila Corrothers told NBC News: “They said she wasn’t severe enough and that they weren’t going to test her.”
Corrothers kept track of each time Gatewood went to the emergency room, according to Fox 2 Detroit. When Gatewood developed a cough on March 19, she went to Beaumont hospital again but was once more denied a coronavirus test and was instead given cough medicine and sent home, Corrothers said.
On March 21, Gatewood developed a high fever and returned to the hospital, Corrothers said. On that visit, Gatewood was told she was “showing signs of [COVID-19]” but was again not tested.
“They sent her home saying ‘you are showing signs of COVID.’ So they were confirming that she most likely had COVID, but they did not test her,” Corrothers told Fox 2 Detroit.
Gatewood visited Beaumont Hospital for the last time on March 23, NBC News said.
Corrothers told NBC News that she found her mother in bed unresponsive on March 27. She decided to take her to a different hospital, but before she could get her there, she had collapsed.
An ambulance took Gatewood to Sinai-Grace Hospital. According to Fox 2 Detroit, she had developed bilateral pneumonia at that point and had a fever of 106 degrees Fahrenheit. She was intubated for over two weeks and died on April 20 after her condition deteriorated. She was two years from retirement at Beaumont Hospital.
It is unclear whether Gatewood tested positive for COVID-19 before her death.
The hospital outlined its coronavirus testing protocol in a statement to Fox 2 Detroit: “As patients come to Beaumont for care during this pandemic, we are doing everything we can to evaluate, triage and care for patients based on the information we know at the time. We grieve the loss of any patient to COVID-19 or any other illness.”
Corrothers said those with symptoms should not be discouraged from seeking medical attention, though she called her mother’s experience “disheartening.”
“The fact that she got infected by doing the job she did for 31 years and she couldn’t get taken care of by her own family, meaning Beaumont, it’s sad,” Corrothers told Fox 2 Detroit. “It is disheartening, to say the least.”
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