Nurse sues Northwestern Memorial, claims she was fired for warning about less effective face masks

A former Northwestern Memorial Hospital nurse has sued the Chicago-based hospital, claiming she was fired after warning co-workers that the face masks being used at the facility were not as effective in protecting them from contracting COVID-19, according to The Chicago Tribune.  

Lauri Mazurkiewicz, RN, alleges that Northwestern provided staff with masks that were "less safe and less effective" than the N95 model, which is designed to filter out tiny airborne particles. In addition, Ms. Mazurkiewicz said staff were directed to not wear the N95 masks on hospital grounds.

Ms. Mazurkiewicz said she sent an email to 50 co-workers March 18 warning them that N95 face masks were safer and more effective than the surgical masks Northwestern was providing.

In the lawsuit, Ms. Mazurkiewicz said she had a stash of N95 masks for herself at home and decided to wear one to the hospital March 19. She was fired that same day, she claims. 

"I just wanted to be a good nurse," Ms. Mazurkiewicz told the Tribune. 

Ms. Mazurkiewicz is seeking at least $50,000 in damages.

"We take these matters seriously and we are currently reviewing the complaint," Northwestern told the Tribune. 

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