The new coronavirus has claimed the lives of several clinicians in the radiology community, according to published reports.
David Wolin, MD, a physician in breast imaging at Brooklyn Hospital Center in New York City, was one of the latest to die on the front lines. His 464-bed acute care hospital—the borough’s oldest—has been hit hard by the pandemic, with one nurse describing her experience as “something out of the Twilight Zone.” The same week that his hospital was featured on the front page of the New York Times, Wolin was laid to rest March 30.
“He was the hardest working person that I’d ever met. He absolutely loved being a doctor,” his daughter, Helena Cawley, told CBS New York. “He just really loved his patients and his colleagues and really loved what he did.”
Wolin, 74, reportedly started experiencing symptoms March 21. But they eventually cleared up and he opted to avoid testing to preserve supplies for those in need, texting his daughter that it was likely a “bad cold.” Five days later, he collapsed at his home. His wife, Susan, is now reportedly hospitalized on a ventilator.
“I really have been so angry and sad about the 20-plus years that were stolen from us because of this horrible virus,” Cawley told the TV station.
Wolin is the latest in a running list of imaging professionals to lose their lives while responding to the pandemic. Devin Dale Francis, an emergency department radiology technologist at Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami, died from COVID-19 on Wednesday, April 8. As did Ohio radiology director Jeannie Danker, and Carlo Amodio, MD, a respected radiologist in Italy—one of at least 87 physicians to succumb to the virus there.
“Many doctors are dying suddenly, even if their cause of death is not directly linked to the virus, because tests are not done,” according to Italy’s National Federation of Orders of Surgeons and Dentists.
As of April 8, California had reported 1,651 healthcare workers infected with the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19. However, it’s difficult to get a handle on how many have been affected nationwide, with few jurisdictions tracking and publicly reporting numbers among this workforce, Medscape reported April 10.
Such information could prove useful in helping direct scarce personal protective equipment supplies to the hardest-hit areas in the U.S., a University of Washington expert told the website.