Breaking News
More () »

In 40 years of work, St. Louis ICU doctor sees the most deaths in one shift due to COVID-19

"You were taught early on in medical school not to take things home. But, sometimes, I just have a really good cry," Dr. Steven Brown admits.

ST. LOUIS — One local doctor experienced so much death in one night among his COVID-19 patients that he decided to take it to Twitter.

Dr. Steven Brown from Mercy Virtual Care Center tends to get a few likes on his tweets.

"Typically, I'll write something like, 'Oh my wife, made a really nice pie' and they'll get like eight people liking it and I'm happy," he says. 

Except this specific one below, stopped users from scrolling.

"I had like 70,000 likes on the tweet. I just was exhausted that one night," Dr. Brown tells 5 On Your Side. "I just saw no end in sight."

The Mercy physician has lost patients before, but this night in the ICU was of no comparison.

"I had four people dying in about three hours, but then they just kept coming and coming and I think, at the end of the 12-hour shift, 7, 8, 9 people died." Dr. Brown adds, "There were people at the end of my shift I was looking at and I said I just didn't think they're going to be here when I started my shift the next day. I was leaving my shift with people with very low blood pressures, I was leaving my shift with people who had been resuscitated multiple times throughout the night."

The urge to tweet was to tell others of the tragedy unfolding.

He says, "As soon as the bed is empty, it gets cleaned out the room, gets sterilized, and another person fills that room."

At times, he's kept the pain to himself.

"You were taught early on in medical school not to take things home. But sometimes, I just have a really good cry," Dr. Brown admits. 

Yet he's encouraged to continue.

"I might lose it after work and then get composed and then move on because this is our time to step up," Dr. Brown says. "We’re seeing pregnant women lose babies. We're seeing newborns lose their mothers and we need to take this very, very seriously. Death is, unfortunately, you know part of life and it's a big part of a COVID-19 these days."

About 95% of the patients he's seeing in the Intensive Care Unit are unvaccinated.

Dr. Brown wishes they made a different choice, but the care stays the same.

"Even though they're filling up the beds and there's a lot of people who are bashing the anti-vaxers... still when they get sick, they still need care and compassion and understanding," Dr. Brown adds.

A new C-D-C report finds unvaccinated people were eleven times more likely to die of COVID-19 than those who were fully vaccinated.

Dr. Brown encourages the shot and says the best way out of this pandemic is vaccination.

READ: "Vaccination works" | CDC study shows unvaccinated more likely to die of COVID-19

RELATED: 'That's still a lot': St. Louis task force says hospitalizations slowly decreasing, still about 500 patients