Monday, May 20, 2024

Deceased doctor required to work, denied Covid-19 test, family accuses

A doctor stricken with the coronavirus who was denied testing for six days and forced to work despite presenting symptoms has died from a series of heart attacks, his family said, and his widow plans on filing a human rights complaint in protest. 

Dr. Ricardo Ríos first came down with symptoms on April 1, his wife said. When he arrived at work that day at a hospital in Atizapán de Zaragoza near Mexico City he asked his supervisor if he could be tested prior to starting his shift, but was asked to wait to see if further symptoms developed in order to not waste the test. 

The doctor’s situation began deteriorating, his oxygenation levels were dropping, and he kept asking to be tested but was repeatedly denied. But he kept working.

After six days, and after getting notably worse, Ríos was finally tested and the result came back positive. 

The doctor was initially treated at home by his family in a special isolation room they set up in their courtyard. He himself guided his treatment as they administered medicine and brought him an oxygen tank. 

He told his wife and children he didn’t want to go to the hospital because he didn’t want to be intubated, but when his condition worsened they convinced him to go, telling him everything would be fine. 

But it wasn’t. On May 20 he suffered three back-to-back heart attacks, and after 40 minutes of resuscitation efforts, he was pronounced dead. 

His wife says she wasn’t even allowed to view his body due to the risk of contagion.

Now she is busy sorting through paperwork, trying to collect her husband’s pension and insurance in order to keep the couple’s three children in school. She said many documents are required in a process that has become more bureaucratic, yet the hospital provided nothing after her husband died.

She also plans on filing a complaint with the National Medical Arbitration Commission and the Human Rights Commission of the state of México for her husband’s allegedly negligent treatment by the hospital where he worked. 

Source: Milenio (sp) 

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