Photos of bodies piled up at DMC hospital prompt state probe

Michigan state regulators are investigating reports of bodies being stored in vacant rooms at DMC Sinai-Grace Hospital in Detroit, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said April 17, according to The Detroit Times.

Last week, CNN published photos from the hospital that were being shared among emergency room staff that show bodies of dead patients being stored in vacant rooms and being piled up in refrigerated holding units in the parking lot of the hospital. An ER worker shared the photos with CNN, and two other ER workers confirmed that these pictures were real and show how the hospital was storing bodies in early April, during a particularly grueling 12-hour shift, the workers said.

Additionally, a prior Detroit Times report shows that workers at DMC Sinai-Grace Hospital were scrambling to find body bags for the patients who died and places to put the bodies.

Officials from the State Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs visited the hospital last week, a department spokesperson said, according to the report.

At a press conference April 17, Ms. Whitmer said: "It's just incredibly, incredibly sad. There's been a lot of tough days in the last six weeks. I'm making decisions that I never could have imagined we'd be confronting as a state."

The state is working to coordinate its cold storage capacity, she said.

A DMC spokesperson said that the hospital was using mobile refrigeration units to manage the capacity issues springing up at morgues and funeral homes in the area due to the COVID-19 pandemic, according to The Detroit Times.

"Patients who pass away at our hospital are treated with respect and dignity, remaining on-site until they can be appropriately released," the spokesperson told The Detroit Times.

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