(WXYZ) — A 7 Action News investigation prompted a federal agency to ask for a probe into the conditions and COVID-19 protocols inside McLaren Macomb hospital. Now additional medical staff are speaking out, alleging that McLaren Macomb is not the only location with staffing and work condition problems.
McLaren Macomb staff shared photos of dirty bathrooms, bags of garbage, and soiled linens.
Last month, two nurse whistleblowers from the emergency department told the 7 Investigators the hospital wasn’t sanitizing rooms and equipment properly after treating COVID-19 patients. Other complaints to the state alleged that COVID patients were not isolated.
“It is very dirty, it is not clean, it is not being sanitized,” said one McLaren Macomb ER nurse who asked that we not reveal their identity. “We have two housekeepers on the day shift for a massive emergency department. After 3 p.m., I believe that one housekeeper is shared for most of the hospital.”
“It’s terrifying because someone could be coming in for abdominal pain, and they’re going to be leaving with COVID,” said the other nurse who asked that we not reveal their identity.
Those nurses say they had to stay anonymous because they fear losing their jobs. However, after they spoke out, the 7 Investigators received allegations from more employees across the region saying other McLaren locations also had staffing and COVID protocol issues as well.
“Everybody’s fleeing. We had another tech put in her two weeks. She’s just burnt out, everyone’s burnt out,” said Certified Surgical Tech Keegan Kubacki, who works at McLaren Thumb Region Hospital in Bad Axe.
As a union steward, Kubacki is allowed to speak publicly with 7 Investigators. She said the hospital did not tell employees last fall that they had not been testing patients for COVID-19 prior to surgeries.
“We were under the assumption they were all getting tested, and then come to find out in November of last year we found they weren’t getting tested at all,” Kubacki said.
Kubacki says after that, the hospital did test some patients but she says they recently learned patients coming in for quick procedures like cataract surgery or pain injections are still not tested for the coronavirus.
“So they’re not masked, not COVID tested,” Kubacki said. “They’ve never been COVID tested and we weren’t aware.”
Kubacki says all of those untested patients share the same pre-op area.
“We’re not quarantined after we do cases with patients who haven’t been tested, so then we’re right on to the next patient,” she said. “Just because we work for a hospital you would think they would do the right thing, we’d be following all the safest protocols and it’s very much not happening.”
After receiving tips from viewers and other employees about other McLaren locations, the 7 Investigators asked the state’s Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA) about complaints filed against McLaren since the start of the pandemic.
Here are the complaints as provided to the 7 Investigators by LARA:
McLaren Oakland 50 N. Perry St, Pontiac:
11 McLaren Oakland complaints were received since 03/01/20:
- All 11 were…