The head of a Russian hospital is in critical condition after plummeting 50 feet during a conference call with health officials in which she complained about the lack of personal protective equipment to treat coronavirus patients, according to reports.
Dr. Yelena Nepomnyashchaya, 47, fell from a window of the Krasnoyarsk Regional Hospital for War Veterans – which was repurposed to treat COVID-19 patients — during discussions with the chief of the Krasnoyarsk region’s health department, The Moscow Times reported, citing TVK.
The mother-of-two is believed to have opposed having another building at the facility being converted for use to treat coronavirus patients because of an “acute shortage” of PPE for doctors and nurses and a lack of proper training, TVK cited a source as saying.
“Perhaps these were the circumstances that prompted the woman to commit a desperate act,” the person was quoted as saying.
Nepomnyashchaya is fighting for her life after the fifth-floor plunge but health officials are “refusing to talk” about her chances of survival, according to TVK, The Sun of the UK reported.
Aleksey Podkorytov, deputy chief of the Krasnoyarsk region’s government, said her fall could have another explanation besides those reported by local media.
“So many things could have happened. It could have been because it was spring, the overall stress, something in her family. It’s difficult to say what could have happened,” he said, The Sun reported.
“There was nothing extraordinary happening at the time, just a routine conference call with doctors’ reports,” he said. “At the time [of the incident] there were no patients with coronavirus, yet the hospital was on high alert with all necessary equipment in place.”
Podkorytov added: “She just reported that there were no coronavirus patients. They in fact [have] started to be admitted into the hospital, but only a very few with the lightest form of the virus.”
The incident follows other reports that doctors in Russia have quit amid protests over a lack of PPE.