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Nurse fired from Sinai-Grace disputes claims he leaked photos

DETROIT – A nurse at Sinai-Grace Hospital claims he was fired for something he said he didn’t do.

At the height of the outbreak, images of body bags stored in a room went viral. Sal Hadwan said he was fired because of it.

Update May 6, 2020: Michigan coronavirus (COVID-19) cases up to 45,054; Death toll now at 4,250

Wednesday morning, RN Sal Hadwan shot video of himself leaving after his overnight shift and saying the Detroit Medical Center fired him the moment he was done.

"They decided to terminate me because they think I leaked the photos to CNN,” Hadwan said.

READ: ‘The nightmares are bad’: Photos emerge showing body bags stacked inside empty rooms at Detroit’s Sinai-Grace Hospital

Hadwan said he did not take or share the photos with news outlets.

He shared his termination papers with Local 4. The DMC said an investigation into the photos was launched and found Hadwan in violation of multiple policies -- including the handling of confidential information.

“I told them it was in a group chat with nurses and it went too far," Hadwan said. "No one should see their loved ones like that.”

Hadwan did post a Facebook live in early April of he and his overnight shift of nurses walking out of Sinai-Grace in protest of what he said was dangerously low staffing, putting waves of coronavirus patients at risk.

He said he knew he was risking his job then but had to speak up.

The DMC released the following statement on the incident:

“Our ethics hotline received complaints that employees had taken inappropriate photos of deceased patients at Sinai Grace Hospital and shared them with other employees. We conducted a comprehensive investigation and took appropriate action based on employee admissions of violations of our patients’ right to privacy.

We have an unwavering commitment and obligation to respect the privacy of our patients and to treat them with dignity and respect. We will not tolerate actions to the contrary.

We will continue to uphold our Standards of Conduct applicable to all employees and are grateful for the hundreds of team members at Sinai-Grace Hospital whose courageous work and dedication to patients has been inspiring.”

Anyone who believes they might have coronavirus should follow the CDC guidelines. Michigan.gov has a list of resources available to those concerned about COVID-19.

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