Two emergency doctors in critical condition after being infected with coronavirus

Dr. James Pruden is 70 years old and currently in isolation after contracting the virus

Dr. James Pruden
Dr. James Pruden (Credit: St. Joseph's University Medical Center)

Although early guidelines that suggested the elderly and those with compromised immune systems were the only ones who had to fear the Coronavirus, this past week two E.R doctors – one of them only 40 years old and in great shape – are in critical condition after testing positive.

According to The Seattle Times, Dr. James Pruden from Paterson, New Jersey is 70 years old and currently in isolation after contracting the virus. His extremely adverse reaction to COVID-19 is not surprising because of his age and history of previous respiratory problems.

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However, the other doctor, whose name is being withheld, is only in their 40s. She is healthy and has no preexisting health concerns.

It remains unclear whether Dr. Pruden contracted the virus while treating patients, or if he was exposed in his personal life. Unlike his colleague, the physician agreed to be named in the press (and pictured) in the hope that it will encourage others who came into contact with him to take the necessary precautions.

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“The point we want to make is we are all at risk of this,” St. Joseph’s Health President Kevin Slavin explained last week.

As for the other doctor, he works at EvergreenHealth Medical Center in Kirkland, Washington, where there have already been 40 deaths.

“EvergreenHealth is providing care for one of our physicians who has a confirmed case of COVID-19,” read a brief statement issued by the hospital on Sunday. “He is in critical condition but stable. Out of respect for our patient’s privacy and that of his family, there is nothing more we can share at this time.”

“Things that might be necessary to stabilize their [patients’] life are pretty intimate,” explained Dr. Angela Fusaro, an E.R doctor in Atlanta.

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Fusaro believes doctors and nurses are at risk of catching COVID-19 due to their constant proximity to infected patients.

“If you have to put in a breathing tube, you are going to be right up against them,” she continued. “You can’t practice that type of medicine from afar.”