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Akron hospital president on conflicts over COVID-19 treatments: ‘An unfortunate consequence, but it is occurring’

19 News
19 News
Published: Dec. 22, 2021 at 12:57 PM EST
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CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - A Democratic state representative from Ohio said he was told recently by an anonymous hospital CEO that health care workers are being attacked by unvaccinated individuals regularly for refusing to administer the “right” coronavirus treatments.

Several Northeast Ohio hospital officials were asked about the social media post and whether they are aware of an increase in attacks on caregivers related to what Rep. Weinstein mentioned.

Dr. David Custodio, the president of Summa Health System Akron and St. Thomas Hospitals, responded during a briefing with the Ohio Department of Health on Wednesday.

“On a regular basis, some family members, not all, but some in those highly-charged situations do not treat our employees with the kindness we would expect as we’re working to save their lives,” Dr. Custodio said.

Summa Health’s president said the hospital system does not tolerate workplace violence.

“It’s an unfortunate consequence, but it is occurring,” Dr. Custodio added. “We, as scientists and providers, cannot administer treatments that aren’t indicated and, can in fact, do harm.”

The Cleveland Clinic also acknowledged that some members of the hospital system’s intensive care units have experienced interactions with families who suggested medical treatments “that are not backed up by scientific evidence.”

The executive director of public and media relations for the hospital system, Angela Kiska, said she is aware of the conditions health care workers face across the country, but she has “not heard of” any actual physical attacks or assaults locally within the Cleveland Clinic network.

University Hospitals released the following statement:

“The global pandemic has placed everyone under a great deal of stress, and hospitals across the country have seen an increase in violence directed at caregivers.

The safety and wellbeing of our University Hospitals caregivers is always a top priority and we continue to enhance our safety measures which include:

Deploying medical detectors within emergency departments to prevent weapons entering the facility.

Expansion of physical panic buttons and system-wide deployment of a personal safety app which allows every employee to summon UH or local police in the event of an emergency.

Education and training for our caregivers – CPI (Crisis Prevention Institute) Training

Increases to UH Police and Protective Services staffing

Hospitals continue to see incredibly high demand and our caregivers have worked tirelessly to accommodate this. We would ask everyone coming to our facilities be patient and understanding as we deliver their care.”

Disagreements between hospital workers and COVID-19 patients over the use of certain treatments, such as ivermectin, are not uncommon.

In August, a woman filed an emergency order with Butler County courts that forced an Ohio hospital to treat a COVID-19 patient with ivermectin.

The Food and Drug Administration said certain formulations of ivermectin “are approved in the U.S. to treat or prevent parasites in animals.” It is not approved by the Food and Drug Administration for use against the coronavirus in humans.

Additionally, 19 News has requested comment or information from MetroHealth regarding incidents involving caregivers.

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