Ernesto Quintana died two days later. The family is devastated
The family of Ernest Quintana he knew he was dying of a chronic lung disease when he was taken to the hospital by ambulance, unable to breathe.
But they were devastated that night when a robotic machine entered their room, in the intensive care unit, and a doctor told the 78-year-old patient by video call that will probably die in a few days, reports the AP news agency.
"If you come to give us normal news, all right, but if you come to tell us that we have no lungs and want to drip morphine on you until death, a human should do it, and not a car," said her daughter Catherine Quintana Friday
Ernest Quintana died Tuesday, two days after he was taken to the emergency room at the Kaiser Permanente Medical Center in Fremont, in the Bay Area.
Michelle Gaskill-Hames, senior vice president of Kaiser Permanente in the south of Alameda, he said the situation was very unusual and said officials "I regret not having met" the patient's expectations.
But the hospital also defended the use of telemedicine, and said that his policy is to have a nurse or a doctor in the room at the time of remote consultations.
"The video teleconference in the afternoon was the result of previous visits to the doctors," said Gaskill-Hames in a written response. "He did not replace previous conversations with patients and relatives and was not used in the delivery of the initial diagnosis".
Hospital officials say technology does not replace conversations in person with patients and their loved ones.
Ernest Quintana's niece, Annalisia Wilharm, 33, was alone with her grandfather when a nurse seemed to tell her that a doctor would do her rounds. A robot entered and a doctor appeared on the video screen.
Wilharm thought the visit was routine. She was stunned by what the doctor had started to say. "This man can not breathe, and he has this robot trying to talk to him," he said. "In the meantime, this guy is saying," So we recovered the results and there is no lung. "There is no lung to work with" ".
Wilharm said he had to repeat what the doctor said to his grandfather, Because I had this I had hearing problems in the right ear and the machine could not reach that side of the bed.
"Then he says that maybe his next step is going to a hospice in his home," Wilharm heard in a video that recorded the visit. "Quite right?" His granddaughter asked. "You know, I do not know if he'll come home," said the doctor.
Steve Pantilat, head of the palliative medicine division at the University of California, San Francisco, said he does not know the details of the case, but that the robotic technology It worked wonders for patients and their families, some of whom are too far away to visit in person.
The video meetings are warm and intimate, he said, adding that not all in-person discussions have empathy and compassion. "No matter how hard we send news, it's sad and it's hard to hear," he said.
Wilharm said that his grandfather, a man of the family who kept all the drawings of the children he had given him, deserved better. He said that after the visit, he gave her instructions on who was to receive what and made her promise to take care of her grandmother. "He was such a sweet man," he said.