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Distressing photos show bodies piled up and stored in vacant rooms at Detroit hospital

Bodies are being piled one on top of each other in refrigerated holding units and in vacant rooms at the hospital.

Distressing photos show bodies piled up and stored in vacant rooms at Detroit hospital
Image Source: Twitter/ @MarshallCohen

Trigger warning: This story contains details that readers may find disturbing.

An Emergency room worker shared photos of dead bodies being piled one on top of each other inside refrigerated holding units for the want of space. Hospitals across America have been inundated with Coronavirus patients and the death count is starting to spiral out of control, leaving them with no system in place to handle the rising body count. While Donald Trump is busy boasting about his administration's reaction to the pandemic, the stark reality remains that thousands have died and continue to do so in America every day. The images captured by the ER worker and released to CNN reflect the grim reality facing America.  


The photos from Sinai-Grace Hospital in Detroit show dead bodies being piled up in vacant hospital rooms and refrigerated holding units. One photo showed a portable refrigerated unit full of white body bags with many being piled on top of one another. "Bodies are definitely double stacked on the floor. There is no lift to help put the bodies on the shelf," said one ER worker. Small blue bags placed by the white body bags contained the personal effects of the patient.



With morgues full, many hospitals are storing bodies in such temporary spaces. The Sinai-Grace Hospital was using rooms set aside for studying sleep habits to store dead bodies. The photo showed two white body bags kept on a bed beside each other, while another was placed on a chair near the bed. 



The healthcare staff has said that the 12-hour shifts at the hospital have been overwhelming physically and mentally given the sharp intake of patients on account of the pandemic. The ER workers who spoke to CNN chose to remain anonymous for the fear of retaliation by the hospital administration. There have one too many instances of healthcare workers being fired for speaking to the media about the working conditions or raising issue with the scarcity of medical supplies and PPE (personal protection equipment). "It was because we hadn't gotten our outside freezers yet, so those rooms had beds and the morgue people don't work overnight," said the ER worker. The ER workers confirmed that the hospital was planning on ordering portable refrigerator storage units to store the bodies. 



The hospital authorities stated that they were looking to secure more resources to handle the volume of patients. "Like hospitals in New York and elsewhere, we have secured additional resources such as mobile refrigeration units to help temporarily manage the capacity issue caused by COVID-19," said Brian Taylor, a hospital spokesman. America has so far reported more than 23, 000 deaths and 587, 000 Coronavirus cases, more than any other country in the world.



Last week, a nurse from a Manhattan hospital shared a picture showing body bags being lined up on the floor of a refrigerated holding unit. "It is the ghastly reality of what we deal with and where some of us have ended up already." The nurse said he hadn't encountered anything like what he was seeing now, and added that the image reminded of the Holocaust footage. "Maybe as a Jew, I relate it to all of the Holocaust footage because that’s my only point of reference for such an image of humans. Never seen something quite like it." The state of New York also built mass graves in Hart Island to do away with bodies that were not claimed within two weeks of the patient's death. 


Information about COVID-19 is swiftly changing, and Upworthy is committed to providing the most recent and verified updates in our articles and reportage. However, considering the frequency in developments, some of the information/data in this article may have changed since the time of publication. Therefore, we encourage you to also regularly check online resources from local public health departments, the Centers for Disease Control, and the World Health Organization.

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