Three health specialists expressed a series of technical arguments that demolish the idea of an ICU on the island.
“I want to announce that the Ministry of Health will build a Health Unit on Tasajera Island, a historically forgotten area. That health center will have an intensive care unit, “said President Nayib Bukele on August 27, at a public event in which his administration received a donation of ventilators from the United States government.
The US ambassador to the country, Ronald Johnson, was at the president’s side when Bukele made this announcement, which was considered “political” and without a scientific-medical basis by three doctors in the following days.
Tasajera Island, located in the municipality of San Luis La Herradura, in La Paz, has an approximate population of 1,845 inhabitants, according to the latest census.
Milton Brizuela, president of the Medical College, said in a recent television interview that “it is a political advertisement, it does not have a scientific basis, really. (Bukele) should better put a helicopter on them and transport them in 20 minutes to a hospital that has an ICU, than to make an investment of that type in a place that is not going to work ”.
Brizuela recommended “that the Usulután hospital, which is closer to that area, have an intensive care unit, an intensivist and other specialties, which it does not have at this time.”
Dr. Iván Solano Leiva, who is also part of the Medical College, explained that an intensive care unit must be accompanied by personnel from a series of medical subspecialties, “auxiliary services such as radiology, specialists such as cardiologists, endocrinologists, nephrologists, infectologists, etc. . ”, And gave as an example some hospitals that do have all those human and equipment resources, such as Benjamin Bloom, Nacional de la Mujer, Nacional Rosales or San Rafael.
“Regarding what the president said, he wants to put an ICU in Tasajera, that is typical of a third-level hospital, not a first-level hospital, not for a health unit,” summarized Solano Leiva.
Benjamín Coello Villalobos, former deputy director of the Salvadoran Social Security Institute, published on his Twitter account a series of technical arguments that overthrow the idea of an ICU on the island.
“I think that even a medical student can understand that the idea of creating a health unit that has an ICU is not only impudent, but an offense. It is evident that the announcement is treacherous and completely dishonest, and only seeks to attract sympathy from ignorant people on issues of levels of health care and pre-hospital care for critical patients caused by an emergency, ”said Coelo.
For the doctor, “the primary interest of the government does not seem to be to solve the health problem of the islanders (of Tasajera), but how many votes can be obtained.”
Coelo gave more details about all the components that must accompany an intensive care unit, which are “for critical patients, generally with failures of several vital organs at the same time, who require care and procedures from various medical specialties. They may need emergency surgeries, hemodialysis, endoscopies of the digestive or respiratory tract, CT scans, MRIs, transfusions, etc. These services must be at hand, because the critical patient cannot walk around for it, due to their condition ”.