Monday 14 June 2021

Controversy Over Hospital’s Refusal To Accept Patient in Cardiac Arrest

Photo Diario Extra
Photo Diario Extra

QCOSTARICA – James Michael Lindsay was at the San José airport, ready to leave Costa Rica, when suddenly he became ill.

The Cruz Roja (Red Cross) quickly responded to the call. Finding the 67 year old man was in cardiac arrest, paramedics worked on him before taking him to the San Rafael hospital, less than one kilometre from the international airport.

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Francisco Pérez, director del Hospital San Rafael, y Jean Esteban Rodríguez Rojas, jefe interino del Servicio de Emergencias.
Francisco Pérez, director of the Hospital San Rafael, and Jean Esteban Rodríguez Rojas, interim chief of Servicio de Emergencias (Emergency Services). Photo Diario Extra

But, according to the paramedics the patient was not accepted and the man died in the ambulance, a situation that has generated much controversy.

“The problem is that on the way, a few metres from the hospital, the patient suffers another cardiac arrest and on arrival, the doctors say that no patient in cardiac arrest will be accepted, he must remain in the ambulance (…),” Karen Cordero, one of the paramedics, told the Diario Extra.

Cordero added that they (paramedics) had not received anything in writing from their superiors of the new policy at the public hospital.

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Francisco Castro, Cordero’s teammate, explained, “they did not want to accept the patient, we were told because he had no pulse we could not take him from the ambulance. We were still working on the patient and he had not yet been declared deceased. Dr. Arroyo said he (the patient) had no pulse.”

Jean Esteban Rodríguez Rojas, interim chief of Emergency Services at the hospital explained to Alejandro Fonseca of the Extra, they had received a call from the Cruz Roja about a cardiac arrest. “We were told (by the paramedics) that they had been working on the patient for some time. We told them that if  the patient came out of the cardiac arrest to transfer him to the hospital, however, it was 20 or 30 minutes later when we got another call, saying the patient did not come out of the arrest but where transferring him any way. The patient was deceased by definition.”

Outsie the hospital, the atient is transferred from the ambulance to a coroner's wagon.
outside the hospital, the patient is transferred from the ambulance to a coroner’s wagon. Photo Diario Extra

Francisco Perez, director of the medical centre, said: “In this case, if the patient had not responded to the medical treatment and maneuvers by the paramedic, he should be declared deceased and the protocol is to call notify the OIJ (investigative police). While there is life a patient is received, but when there is no pulse the transfer is to the coroner.”

The situation has generated controversy in the social media.

Source: Diario Extra

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