Saturday 25 June 2022

[OP-ED] And the Beat Goes On

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Heavily reported in the Spanish language press, only mentioned in the English speaking news outlets, and yet still a lot of mumbo jumbo begs the question, “Why did the 26 day old baby die on the operating tale while in surgery at Hospital de Los Ninos (HNN)?”

Equally important, how is it that if you need to take your child to HNN, there is a better than a 20% chance of death to as much as a 26% fatality rate if the surgery is cardio vascular? The international average is only 4% giving at least a 96% chance of survival and this includes Zimbabwe.

Foreign physicians and technicians arrived in Costa Rica in 2010 and both warned and said that the post natal cardiac surgery at the HNN was deficient and antiquated.

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They also pointed out that 31% of child cardiac surgeries died between the operating room and during one year of recovery.

Now that each and every person holding some kind of residency, be it retiree or investor, must join the public health care system best known as the Caja. These fatality numbers are certain to rise exponentially.

The word “caja” is literally translated to “box” and that seems to be appropriate, at least for the patients of our very own children’s hospital.

While the jury is certainly still out, so to speak, apparently a 26 day old baby had open heart surgery on or about February 15, 2014.

The child died on the table.

Another worthless scandal resulting in the death of a baby and implementing even more youngsters because there is no evidence that HNN, other than the open eyes and teeth sucking executives while nodding agreement, nothing tangible has ever followed the recommendations of the invited postnatal foreign physicians who flat out said, the system and technology does indeed contribute to the demise of children at HNN.

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In fact, in 2010 the then director of HNN, Dr. Rodolfo Hernandez who instead of implementing new procedures, technology and policies simply said, “Everyone must die some time.” (Sounds to me like something from a Dracula movie?)

“Yes,” this is the same Rodolfo Hernandez who was a candidate for president in 2014 and dropped out leaving his party PUSC absent of a candidate for a few days.

Apparently, and again the facts are foggy at best, the lead surgeon elected to make two trips from the OR. 1) to the parking lot in order answer some cellular calls and 2) the other absence to perform an appendectomy at Clinica Catolitca and he never returned to the child patient dying at HNN.

Supposedly Dr. Alvarado left two unqualified surgeons in charge of the 26 day year old patient who died only hours later on the proverbial “Table.”

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What happened to the primary cardiovascular surgeon, possibly trained as a post natal surgeon from all this?

He and one more unnamed colleague have been suspended from the Caja for four months with full pay while some kind of investigation takes place. And, if found negligent, it is highly unlikely Dr. Alvarado will go to jail, not be sued or even lose his job.

But he will receive a well deserved vacation for killing a kid. “And the Beat Goes on.”

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Juan Sebastian Campos
An expat from the U.S., educator and writer in English and Spanish since 1978 with a doctorate in business administrations (DBA) from the United States and Germany. A feature writer for ABC News, Copley Press and the Tribune Group with emphasis on Central America.

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