14ymedio, Madrid, January 30, 2024 — Ristian Solano, the doctor at the Carlos Manuel de Céspedes hospital in Bayamo (Granma) who was sentenced to three years of deprivation of liberty for negligence resulting in death, has broken his silence. His penalty is the highest of those imposed on the six health workers tried in this case, in which only one of those involved, radiologist Elizabeth Silvera, was acquitted.
The doctor has been disappointed by the lack of support from the Ministry of Health, when he and his colleagues denounced their poor working conditions for lack of resources and when they were convicted in a procedure that was full of irregularities.
Solano says that three commissions participated in the investigation to clarify the facts – one from the Provincial Directorate of Health, another from Manzanillo and, finally, the National Health Commission. They determined that from the time of his admission to the hospital, the patient had “elements incompatible with life regardless of medical action. This patient, unfortunately, was condemned to a sad outcome.”
Solano says that three commissions participated in the investigation, which determined that from the time of his admission to the hospital, the patient had “elements incompatible with life”
The doctor describes in great detail, as his colleagues also did, what happened two years ago when the now deceased patient entered the emergency room. His name has never been revealed, but at the time of his arrival, he was accompanied by another person who could speak and answer questions. The 23-year-old patient did not actively cooperate in the interrogation, not because of disability but because he had participated in an illegal race and did not want to have problems.
At that time, when the patient barely revealed that he had fallen off a motorcycle, he had a back injury that was assessed with an apparently normal x-ray and ultrasound. However, he was sent to the multipurpose room to coordinate more specialized tests, two of them (thorax plate and tomography) were declined by radiology due to lack of film and technical defects. A puncture was chosen as an alternative, which could not be done normally either due to the lack of a bladder catheter that, finally, was delivered through coordination with the Urology service. In addition, all the specialists in that unit were busy with surgeries, so they could not perform the test.
“All these inconveniences, so to speak, are reflected in a chart for this purpose,” says Solano, who considers that the patient was adequately cared for within the limitations, and they even explained the situation to him.
Everything changed completely when “around 12:45 in the afternoon a family member brought me the ultrasound result – apparently performed at 8:50 in the morning – in the emergency room, where I was on duty. I reviewed the report and was diametrically opposed to the conclusion.” The doctor explained that he quickly went with the relative to where the patient was while explaining the changes that were seen between the tests. On arrival the patient showed normal vital signs and no problems physically, while now the ultrasound indicated the need for an urgent intervention because of an intra-abdominal injury.
It was at that moment, when he was being prepared for the operation, that the patient confessed to the anesthesiologist that he had participated in a race at 100 miles per hour
It was at that moment, when he was being prepared for the operation, that the patient confessed to the anesthesiologist that he had participated in a race at 100 miles per hour and was thrown over the motorcycle, landing on the curb. According to Solano, the tests carried out by the anesthesiologists revealed normality, with the exception of a ” bilateral decrease in the vesicular murmur in both lung fields.” The injury observed during the surgery was finally located in the kidney.
The autopsy performed subsequently revealed the cause of death as a gastric perforation with a subsequent peritonitis of approximately 20 ounces of free gastric content in the cavity, in addition to ischemia of the tail end of the pancreas. According to Solano, this condition is fatal in 98% of cases, and the patient had already arrived at the hospital with those elements, so nothing could have been done to save him.
The doctor says that the reports confused the terms “polycontusioned”, as the patient was classified, with “polytraumatized,” his real condition, judging by the results of the autopsy. “The elements that the patient provided once he arrived at the Carlos Manuel Céspedes hospital,” along with a “completely negative physical examination” that did not suggest injuries like those found later, made his outcome unpredictable.
Solano says that everything that happened, detailed in the patient’s medical history, damaged the image of the hospital “and, consequently, the image of the department and of the Provincial Directorate of Health, and it was not permissible for one of the doctors to say all this.”
The doctor again points out Dr. Ingris Porto Mateo (allegedly a relative of the deceased) as responsible for a “totally misguided and superficial investigation”
The doctor again points out Dr. Ingris Porto Mateo (allegedly a relative of the deceased) as responsible for a “totally misguided and superficial investigation,” contrary to any scientific basis, and of “encouraging and disclosing falsehoods” against the medical team in charge of the patient “in order to divert attention to what we had actually raised in the first place; that is, the shortcomings of institutional resources that interfere with adequate patient care.”
The doctor ends the video, delivered to Ernesto Morales, regretting that the many pieces of evidences he and his colleagues provided to clarify the situation have been ignored and dismissed. “But, above all, the main irregularity that this process presented is the lack of support from the Ministry of Health, which simply avoided this whole process until it reached the present dimensions. Not because of their lack of support but because they looked the other way.”
The five convicted – along with Solano, Rafael José Sánchez and Henry Rosales Pompa sentenced to two years; Yoandra Quesada Labrada, sentenced to one year and six months; and William Pérez Ramírez, sentenced to one year – will be disqualified for the same period of time that the sentence lasts, although they still have the option to appeal, something they have announced that they will do and for which they have the support of many doctors.
Translated by Regina Anavy
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