Coronavirus in Argentina. For the first time, a patient was excluded due to the saturation of the health system in Río Negro


The patient is an 80-year-old man who was admitted to Cipolletti, where he receives oxygen, but did not access an automatic respirator because the local hospital covered its full capacity Crédito: Shutterstock

Almost six months after the first case of coronavirus was confirmed In Argentina, the most feared scenario occurred:for the first time a patient did not receive the medical attention he needed because the health system was saturated. The case occurred in Río Negro, where the picture threatens to become even more complicated, as confirmed to THE NATION medical sources aware of what happened.

EThe patient is an 80-year-old man who was admitted to Cipolletti, where he receives oxygen, but he did not access an automatic respirator because the local hospital covered all his capacity, so the bioethics protocol was applied.

The patient, identified as Pastor Luis Anastassi by the Diario de Río Negro, is a native of the town of Fernández Oro, from where he had been referred to Cipolletti due to the worsening of his condition.

“We are asking for a respirator for Luis. Our people are dying and we have nothing,” said the president of the Río Negro Pastors Association, Fabio Huenchunao, in statements to the Rio Negro newspaper.

The patient did not have underlying diseases, but contagion with Covid-19 caused him a bilateral pneumonia, he stayed in Cipolletti while transferring him to Viedma, the provincial capital, is being evaluated.

“We are looking for a bed,” reported the director of the hospital, Claudia Muñoz, who explained that there are no more beds for intensive care in the health system and also noted that it is necessary to “prioritize.” “I understand it because it is very hard, it may be my dad, but in Cipolletti today we don’t have beds.”

Medical sources indicated THE NATION, Meanwhile, in the city of General Roca there could be two other cases of patients with Covid-19 who, after applying the bioethical regulations, would not access the medical care they require due to the saturation of the system.

THE NATION tried to communicate with him Río Negro Ministry of Health, but so far it was not possible.

Degrees of difficulty

The situation in Río Negro is thus the most dramatic that has occurred to date in Argentina since the first coronavirus infections were detected in early March, although other provinces face different degrees of difficulty.

The province of Jujuy is close to saturation of its health system, although in recent days it added 42 new beds with oxygen for critical patients and another 12 places with ventilators, and received the support of professionals sent by the Argentine Society of Intensive Care (SATI).

“We are difficult to find beds despite the ones in the public and private sectors,” explained the Jujuy Health Minister Gustavo Bouhid, who indicated that they implement all efforts, but that installing new beds “is not so easy.”

In the province of Buenos Aires, meanwhile, the Ministry of Health indicated that the system “resists, but creaks” in certain localities, but that it has not yet reached saturation, while Vice Minister Nicolás Kreplak urged 156 responsible for hospitals throughout the district to immediately implement bioethics committees.

Along these lines, a hospital in La Plata was close to becoming the first in the province to have to exclude a patient with coronavirus from critical care due to lack of capacity, as reconstructed THE NATION.

This was a man who, like the patient from Río Negro, presented with bilateral pneumonia who was evaluated for sedation until, at the last minute, a bed was found available to refer him.

“It is not just about ‘irons’, be they beds or respirators. Specialized personnel are also required,” indicated an expert in bioethics who advises the national government, and then estimates that there are only 3,000 intensivist professionals in the country, of which many They have already been infected with Covid-19 and have been on a license for a while – or are still there.

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