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Health Care

A Miami-area hospital nurse who worked with COVID-19 patients has died


A nurse at Palmetto General Hospital who was on the COVID-19 front lines has died.

Danielle Dicenso, an ICU nurse at the Hialeah hospital, had a “beautiful smile and contagious laugh,” her family wrote on a GoFundMe page. Her pride and joy was her 4-year-old son, Dominic.

Dicenso fell ill last month with a fever and cough, symptoms known to be caused by COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus.

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“She was on a shift where she had COVID patients, and she didn’t have a mask. She was very scared of going to work,” her husband David Dicenso told WSVN.

Danielle Dicenso, an ICU nurse at Palmetto General Hospital in Hialeah has died from COVID-19 complications, her family says. Screenshot of GoFundMe page

Dicenso told reporters he believes she became infected with the disease due to the hospital’s lack of safety measures, including personal protective equipment for its staff.

Palmetto General Hospital spokeswoman Shelly Weiss told the Miami Herald in an emailed statement that the hospital is providing nurses “appropriate personal protective equipment in compliance with Centers for Disease Control guidelines” and is focused on minimizing staff exposures to the disease.

“All employees at our hospital are temperature checked upon arrival, wear a mask during patient care and are required to notify employee health if they become symptomatic,” Weiss said in a statement. “They are not permitted to work in the hospital caring for patients if exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19.”

The hospital spokeswoman had no comment about the nurse’s death.

Dicenso says his wife had been in quarantine at home since she fell ill and was tested for COVID-19, but the results for the 33-year-old nurse were “inconclusive,” he told Local 10.

She died last week in the family’s living room.

“It’s with a very heavy and broken heart trying to grasp this grim reality. My angel, my love, my wife and mother of my son has left us far too early ... You put yourself on the front lines trying help others during these times. You’re a real hero!! You’re the best nurse anyone could ask for,” Dicenso wrote on Facebook. “You’ve received so many letters from patients, their families, thanking you for caring and taking the extra mile to bring people to health ... It’s devastating knowing a 4 year old will go through life without you.”

Last week, Broward nurse Earl Bailey — who had tested positive for COVID-19 and was in quarantine — died at his home after going into cardiac arrest, according to the Sun Sentinel. He worked at different hospitals through the staffing company Tenet Resource Agency and had last worked for Palmetto General Hospital.

Dicenso’s family believes she died from COVID-19 but are awaiting the results from the medical examiner’s office. They created a GoFundMe page to help with Danielle Dicenso’s funeral arrangements and with her 4-year-old son’s college fund.

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