Top NYC Medical Director overwhelmed by COVID19 commits suicide

Top NYC Medical Director overwhelmed by COVID19 commits suicide

"She tried to do her job and it killed her."

Dr. Lorna Breen a medical director of the emergency department at New York-Presbyterian Allen Hospital in Manhattan, had no history of mental health disorder as she was confirmed by police to have died of self-inflicted injuries on Sunday.

The 49-year-old's father, Dr. Philip Breen, told the New York Times: "She tried to do her job and it killed her." She died in Charlottesville, Virginia, where she had been staying with her family.

New York accounts for 17,500 out of America's coronavirus 56,000 deaths.

Before her death, she succumbed to Coronavirus and had to be sent home for treatment on fully recuperating after few weeks she resumed duties but had to be relieved of her duties again. This time her family insisted she recuperates at their family house.

Dr. Philip Breen said that when they last spoke, his daughter had seemed "detached" and told him how Covid-19 patients were dying before they could even be removed from ambulances. Dozens of patients have succumbed to coronavirus at the 200-bed hospital in Manhattan.

"She was truly in the trenches on the front line,'' he said.

"Make sure she's praised as a hero. She's a casualty just as much as anyone else who has died."

Dr. Lorna Breen a staunch Christian, had strong ties with her family. She was an avid skier who also enjoyed salsa dancing. She selflessly volunteered once a week at a home for old people.

New York-Presbyterian Allen Hospital said in a statement: "Dr. Breen is a hero who brought the highest ideals of medicine to the challenging front lines of the emergency department."

In a press release confirming her death, the Charlottesville Police Department also described Dr. Breen as a "hero".

The police department said that after a call for help on 26 April, Dr. Breen was taken to a local hospital for treatment "where she later succumbed to self-inflicted injuries".

Read also: COVID-19: The effect on the mental health of Nurses and front line workers

How important is the mental health of healthcare professionals?

Police chief RaShall Brackney said in a statement regarding this,

"Frontline healthcare professionals and first responders are not immune to the mental or physical effects of the current pandemic.

"On a daily basis," she added, "these professionals operate under the most stressful of circumstances, and the coronavirus has introduced additional stressors."

Is NYC now a Red Flagged Zone?

New York state has recorded almost a third of the country's nearly one million confirmed Covid-19 cases.

On Monday, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said random antibody tests indicated that a quarter of New York City (24.7%) - America's most populous city with 8.3 million people - had been infected with the coronavirus.