Essex

Coronavirus: Chelmsford nurse died due to lack of PPE, family says

Andrew Ekene Nwankwo Image copyright FAMILY PHOTO
Image caption Andrew Ekene Nwankwo died with coronavirus on 16 May

An NHS nurse described as a "big friendly giant" was not given adequate personal protective equipment (PPE) by his hospital, his brother has said.

Andrew Ekene Nwankwo, 46, a locum nurse at Broomfield Hospital in Chelmsford, died with coronavirus on 16 May after spending five weeks on a ventilator in intensive care there.

Tochukwu Nwankwo said his brother had even tried to buy his own PPE online.

A spokesman for the hospital said there had never been a lack of the equipment.

Mr Nwankwo, 45, said his brother first reported Covid-19 symptoms on 4 April and self-isolated, but his condition worsened and he was left gasping for breath.

He was admitted in the early hours of 11 April but never left intensive care.

Image copyright Google
Image caption Mr Nwankwo worked as a locum nurse at Broomfield Hospital in Chelmsford

The nurse, who worked for the NHS for more than 10 years, had no underlying health conditions, his family said.

Mr Nwankwo said: "He was being sent to face the danger without being given the adequate protection - that's the bottom line, and he told me as much.

"That's what's really annoying and I'm really angry about this whole thing."

Mr Nwankwo said he felt the PPE issue was NHS-wide

"His colleagues who looked after him, they did a great job without a doubt," he said.

"It's the circumstances surrounding this whole thing. I get really angry when it comes to that because I know that this could have easily been avoided."

A Broomfield Hospital spokesman offered condolences to the family but said: "The safety of all of our staff is our absolute priority and we have worked incredibly hard to ensure there have always been sufficient stocks of protective equipment for every member of staff who needs it."

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