At least one person is dead and 25 more are in the hospital after they were given contaminated medication while undergoing dialysis treatment at the Pemex Regional Hospital in Villahermosa, Tabasco.
The state oil company said in a statement that a total of 67 people became ill after they were given sodium heparin, a blood thinning drug. Six of those hospitalized are in serious condition, Pemex said.
The statement said that health authorities ordered the disposal of the tainted batch of medication and that a complaint has been filed against those responsible for the contamination. Pemex accused the manufacturer of the medication, which it didn’t name, of delivering heparin that was contaminated with bacteria.
While the state oil company has announced only one death, the newspaper El Heraldo de Tabasco reported that, according to family members of those poisoned, nine people have died, including one person who passed away on Monday. They also say that hospital management has failed to provide clear information to them about the condition of their loved ones.
Dora Elena Alvarez Morales, whose 80-year-old husband is hospitalized, called on President López Obrador to intervene to ensure that family members are properly informed. Without mentioning a specific number, she said that “several people” have died.
Other family members complained about other shortcomings at the hospital, such as a lack of medications and poor hygiene.
The newspaper El Financiero reported that some relatives had photos that showed buckets catching water that was leaking into the area where patients received dialysis. It also said that photos showed that equipment used to draw patients’ blood had not been maintained.
UPDATE: One more death was reported on March 3.