DMC hospital cleared by state, feds of reported infection control, nurse staffing violations

State and federal authorities have cleared DMC Sinai-Grace Hospital in Detroit of allegations surrounding infection control violations and nurse staffing requirements, though it does not appear that recent reports of the hospital improperly storing bodies in vacant rooms have been investigated yet, according to The Detroit News.

Officials from the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs conducted an onsite investigation at the hospital April 16 on behalf of CMS to assess compliance with nurse staffing regulations and infection control practices. They examined facility policies, incident reports, patient medical records as well as conducted interviews with staff and observations on patient care.

"The facility was found in compliance, no citations," David Harns, a spokesman for the licensing department, told The Detroit News.

An April 9 Detroit News article reported that coronavirus patients were dying in hallways and nurses were searching for body bags for dead patients. The reports of bodies being stored in vacant rooms came soon after.

Last month, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said that Michigan state regulators were looking into reports of dead patients being stored in vacant rooms and being piled up in refrigerated holding units in the parking lot of the hospital.

But the state licensing department told The Detroit News May 4 that it has not investigated those claims. It was also not clear if any state agency had investigated the reports.

On May 4, Robert Gordon, director of the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, issued an emergency order that gives hospitals and funeral directors 24 hours to contact people with authority to dispose of a dead body, including family members. If no such person is identified, the county medical examiner must make arrangements to dispose of the body. If a person with authority is identified, they have 48 hours from the time of death to make a decision and complete arrangements for disposing of the body.

"The increase in deaths has placed a significant burden on the hospitals and funeral homes in our state," said Mr. Gordon. "We need to alleviate this burden and ensure the safe, proper and respectful handling of Michiganders' remains."

More articles on public health:
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Coronavirus twice as deadly for men, study finds
8 states reporting spikes in COVID-19 cases, deaths



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