A family member of a COVID-19 patient reportedly threatened a doctor after she wouldn't treat him with ivermectin
A doctor checks a patient's vital signs in the intensive care unit at the Providence Cedars-Sinai Tarzana Medical Center in Tarzana, California on Jan.
A COVID-19 patient's family threatened a doctor for not using ivermectin, BuzzFeed News reported.
The patient's family member said they had "ways to get people to do something" in their gun safe.
The threats are part of a larger pattern of violence against medical workers during the pandemic.
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The family member of a COVID-19 patient in Boise, Idaho threatened a doctor who would not treat the man with ivermectin, BuzzFeed News reported.
Dr. Ashley Carvalho recalled how the police had to remove the man's son-in-law from the hospital after telling her, “If you don't do this, I have many options to get people to do something and they are seated all at home in my gun safe, "according to BuzzFeed News.
Ivermectin is a worming agent that the FDA has warned about in COVID-19 patients. The drug is widely promoted in conspiracy theorists as a treatment for COVID-19 - often by those who refuse to get vaccinated.
Carvalho told BuzzFeed News that the hostility towards health care workers and a recent spike in COVID-19 cases are taking their toll, adding that she is more fearful now than it was before the availability of vaccines.
"I think it's just a hopeless feeling," she said.
Health care workers in the US have seen an increase in violent threats
The threat against Carvalho is part of a larger trend of violence against medical workers during the pandemic.
Karen Garvey, vice president of patient safety and clinical risk management for Parkland Health & Hospital System, told the Texas Tribune in March that her hospital has seen an increase in violent threats since the pandemic began.
Garvey said it had "punched people in the chest, urine thrown on them, and inappropriate sexual innuendo or behavior in front of staff". She also said that in addition to broken bones and noses, medical staff were cursed with names and racial slurs.
Natalie Higgins, a nurse at CoxHealth in Springfield, Missouri, told KYTV that the number of physical and verbal assaults at her hospital increased in 2021 as the pandemic continued to rage.
“The first time I was verbally attacked by a patient, I thought, 'Oh my God'. As I expected, but not as much as we see it every day, "said Higgins." The first time someone pounces on you, even today, when they attack you, it's terrifying. "
Higgins said CoxHealth installed panic buttons on each employee's ID to warn security when employees are in danger.
Researchers and health workers have raised the alarm on the rise in workplace assaults in hospitals, but according to The Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations, the actual number of non-reporting abuses can actually be much higher.
"Alarmingly, the actual number of violent incidents involving healthcare workers is likely to be much higher since reporting is voluntary," the commission wrote.
Correction: This article originally used the wrong title for Dr. Ashley Carvalho, who is a doctor.
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