Thursday, June 20, 2024

83-year-old turned away by 6 hospitals during 10-hour search for a bed

An 83-year-old man displaying coronavirus symptoms including difficulty breathing spent a horrific 10 hours searching for a hospital in Mexico City that would admit him, the newspaper Milenio reported.

After Heriberto Aguirre was feeling sick for four days and had paid two visits to a private doctor that did nothing to ease his discomfort, his family decided he needed urgent medical attention, his daughter said.

They set out from his home in Xochimilco via ambulance on Thursday morning around 9 a.m. It wasn’t until 8 p.m. that they finally found a hospital that would admit him.

Their first attempt was at the Manuel Gea González General Hospital in Tlalpan, but that facility was already at capacity, and they were turned away, as he was at the two hospitals they subsequently tried in Tláhuac.

That afternoon, Aguirre was also turned away from the Hospital Español because it had run out of beds. He then traveled to the Ministry of Defense’s Central Military Hospital, but did not have the proper credentials to receive treatment.

Aguirre’s breathing became more labored, and his family’s desperation mounted as paramedics patiently tried to get him the medical help he needed.

As what they thought was a last resort, the family took him to a private clinic in Francisco del Paso y Troncoso where they agreed to pay nearly US $1,000 to have him admitted, and then another US $1,000 for each day of treatment. A stay of five to 10 days is not uncommon for hospitalized coronavirus patients and can be substantially longer.

Fortunately, his persistent relatives went back to the Manuel Gea González General Hospital which had originally declined to admit Aguirre that morning and were able to convince medical staff to give him a bed.

One option that could have saved the patient and his family legwork and stress is if they had made use of an app available on the Mexico City government’s website, which uses GPS coordinates and real-time data to help show which are the closest hospitals receiving patients. The government is also urging those who are critically ill to call 911 for assistance in locating care.

Mexico is in phase three of the coronavirus pandemic, with 12,872 reported cases and 1,221 deaths.

Source: Milenio (sp)

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