Doctor Who Recorded Final Days Battling COVID-19 Said She Had To Beg For Proper Treatment: 'This Is How Black People Get Killed'
Dr. Susan Moore said on Facebook that she begged doctors to give her the life-saving Remdesivir but they denied her.
December 23, 2020 at 3:42 pm
Doctors across the country have taken to social media to express outrage over the death of Dr. Susan Moore, a physician in Indianapolis who died from COVID-19 on December 20 after saying she endured racism during her hospital stay.
From a hospital bed, Moore made heart-wrenching allegations about her time at Indiana University North Hospital. She wrote on Facebook that she tested positive for COVID-19 on November 29 and began chronicling her issues with Dr. Eric Bannec.
She said he denied her additional doses of Remdesivir, a life-saving treatment for COVID-19, and told her she should go home even though she still felt ill. She said he also made a number of comments to her that she thought were disrespectful, especially as someone who is a doctor.
From a CT scan, doctors saw that Moore had enlarged lymph nodes, fluid and infiltration in her lungs, so they gave her two doses of Remdesivir. But when she asked for another, Bannec said she no longer qualified and threatened to send her home.
"I had to beg to get the Remdesivir because Dr. Bannec said my chest x-ray was normal￼￼￼. I then had to beg for a CT of my chest which I finally got and it showed large mediastinal lymphadenopathy right lower lobe infiltrate in a new left lower lobe infiltrate," the doctor wrote on Facebook.
"After receiving two infusions of the Remdesivir dr. Bannec said I don’t qualify, I’m not short of breath, he doesn’t know why my neck hurts and he doesn’t feel comfortable giving me any narcotics. All I can do is cry I was in so much pain. He said you can just go home right now. Of note he did not even listen to my lungs he didn’t touch me in any way. He performed no physical exam. I told him you cannot tell me how I feel," she added.
She also said doctors were not providing her with pain medication.
"Why do I have to prove that there’s something wrong with me in order for my pain to be treated. I have informed the patient advocate￼￼￼￼￼," she continued in the post.
“Now, that is not how you treat patients, period. So, I don’t trust this hospital, and I’m asking to be transferred,” she said in a video post. “This is how Black people get killed. When you send them home and they don’t know how to fight for themselves.”
She continued to update her Facebook posts through the days with more worrying messages about how she was being treated.
She said Bannec had a bad reputation "dating as far back as three years," and that the hospital responded to her complaints by bringing in two Black nurses from the hospital in downtown Indianapolis.
But she still contacted the Chief Medical Officer (CMO) of the IU Medical healthcare system and added that she was worried about the care she was receiving from the doctors.
"I am so scared please give me some advice on how to proceed," she wrote on Facebook.
Her complaints reached the highest levels of the hospital and she was eventually provided with the proper treatment for a few days. In one note she said the hospital's CMO told her they were planning to do more "diversity training" and that they were trying to get Bannec to apologize to her.
But she still reported being short of breath and feeling weak.
After a few days, she was released. But she sent out another update saying that within 12 hours of getting home, she felt sick again.
"I’m back in the hospital, a different hospital Saint Vincent Carmel.￼￼ Those people were trying to kill me. Clearly everyone has to agree they discharge me way too soon. They are now treating me for a bacterial pneumonia as well as Covid pneumonia. I am getting very compassionate care. They are offering me pain medicine," she wrote.
Her last message read that she was being given oxygen and was being transferred to the ICU.
The story caused shockwaves among many doctors, who took to social media to call out the horror of Moore's death.
"These are the issues we face, as we give up so much to take care of patients, even in harm's way, and when we find ourselves as patients, we are disrespected, devalued & dismissed. It cost Dr. Moore her life. Her medical degree did not save her from the racism that she endured while battling for her life," Dr. Omolara Uwemedimo wrote on Twitter.
3 weeks after her diagnosis, she is no longer with us and one can't help but wonder whether the outcome would've been different, if she did not undergo repeated delays in care that were undoubtedly due to her being a Black woman, and the lack of respect & trust that we often face— Dr. Omolara Uwemedimo MD, MPH (@DrOmolara) December 22, 2020
"I pray that we learn from this tragedy, that we have seen far too many times before COVID and to this day," she continued. "We must do better for Black women. Believe us. Trust us. Respect us."