Dr. Lorna Breen Wiki – Dr. Lorna Breen Biography
Dr. Lorna Breen, an ER physician in New York City, killed herself after working the front lines in the pandemic. Her death has created a call to action. The headlines read that healthcare workers are suffering; they are heroes; they need support. Dr. Lorna Breen was 49 years old. I am 49 years old. I am also a successful ER physician on the front lines of the pandemic. I can’t speak to Dr. Breen’s experience. But I can tell you mine.
Dr Lorna Breen’s heartbreaking suicide exposes, yet again, the deep trauma that health professionals treating #COVID19 patients are experiencing
During her last conversation with a friend, Dr Breen repeated a sentence that arguably captures that anguish
“I couldn’t do anything” https://t.co/ZLlsyGHDln
— Karyn Maughan (@karynmaughan) July 11, 2020
Many of us at ER have signed up to work with the most emotionally challenging patients in medicine because we “fill our buckets” by connecting with people in the most difficult moments of our lives. We are the cops of medicine. We pay attention to the homeless, drug addicts, car wrecks, cancer patients, heart attacks, death.
We love it. We are a unique group. We are our success, A + student; we finish the work, weekends, holidays, nights. But at the same time, we are healthcare professionals who need to achieve the best out of the job because we are constantly stumbling on what we cannot do in our professional lives. We can’t fix our mom “heroically”
He could never be saved from the deaths of his two children, who came to life after the car accident, which we could never save. We cannot fix that the child we “saved” from drowning will need 24-hour care for the rest of his life. We deal with holding the hand of the mother of a dead child. We cope by talking to the death of a parent of a family. We cope with being fully present, truly seeing and accepting the suffering of our patients and their families, what we do. But this is different.
Dr. Lorna Breen “was gifted, confident, clever. Unflappable.” Faced with a pandemic AND a medical culture that expects drs to function like robots instead of people, she died from suicide.
This is heartbreaking. We have to change the culture of medicine.https://t.co/HooJESKssW
— Dr. Seema Yasmin (@DoctorYasmin) July 11, 2020
First of all, I can’t breathe. PPA. Personal protective equipment. It starts with an N95 mask. The mask is thick and fits tightly on my face. Rubber bands cut the circulation in my ears, but if I touch it, I get COVID. I’m drowning for an 8-hour shift. On top of the mask, I wear a face shield, which is actually a welder mask. This should clear the shift several times with a solution that smells like urine. Concentrating on really fewer connections with patients is incredibly difficult.
Dr. Lorna Breen Last signed
Still, I signed up for this. Morning news feeds me I’m a hero, I entered the room of a demented patient last week, and after seeing me in my space suit, I started curling and screaming in a ball. I was not human. The N95 mask makes it difficult for even the best hearing patients to understand me. Communication is almost impossible if English is the patient’s second language or the patient has hearing impairment. Nobody can see my eyes or facial expression. Body language, facial expression, chatting, I connect with my patients in this way. I can not connect.
#covid19 A heartbreaking story of a highly skilled and talented #emergencyroom #physician. Dr. Lorna Breen worked at #NewYork-Presbyterian Allen Hospital in Upper Manhattan, where she supervised the emergency department. The unit h…https://t.co/FJMOUmZndB https://t.co/dKf4b4nB8i
— Regina Phelps (@ReginaPhelps) July 11, 2020
I have seen many patients with mental health crises. I saw more than one patient who attempted suicide. Patients who do not commit suicide not only with our usual attempts, but with an overdose of drugs or alcohol, but to stop jumping off a bridge or put a bullet in their heads. I’ve seen more worries than ever. Patients who have never had a panic attack, but applied to the emergency room are desperate for relaxation. Patients without anxiety or depression medications because their usual doctors are angry or unable to see them personally. They all had one thing in common, there was a desperate need for human connection.
What Dr. Lorna Breen said about covid-19 patients
I saw that many patients died this week from COVID-19. They all had a story. They were all heroes. Before COVID-19, they would die with their families around them; their lives would be celebrated with a funeral, more than a daily update of the health department. They couldn’t socially isolate the past six weeks. They wouldn’t die alone.
Dr. Lorna Breen worked in New York. Fortunately, he would see death on a scale I did not see. Dr. Breen was an incredible person by all accounts, not because he was an ER doctor. And just like anyone who comes or died from COVID-19, his life deserves to be honored. I can’t say why Dr. Lorna Breen killed himself, but I can say it’s a witness. Witness the incredible power of an RNA sequence with COVID-19.
A witness to be afraid of. Witnessing helplessness and disbelief. Witnessing child and family abuse on a scale never seen before. Depression, anxiety and testimony to isolation. Witness those who have died of death without the support of their friends and family in their parent’s ER parking lot, Facetime, Zoom. Testimony to the loss of the last hug, kiss and touch of the people we love. I witnessed the deaths of hundreds of COVID-19 patients, talking on a phone outside the room, with an emergency doctor, a dress and a welder’s shield on the N95 mask alone. He could barely hear, unable to see, promising to tell his children that they loved them. Testimony to the most powerful social experiment ever. A wit