Madrid – Last March, when Coronovirus was tearing across Spain, Lídia Bayona Gómez suffered vomiting and coughing.
A nursing home worker, she considered herself as a potential Kovid-19 case, isolated and tested herself. The results came twice negative. With her weight reduced and her urine reddened, she made repeated attempts to see a doctor and in late April, over a phone consultation, one told her to stay home and get medication for gastroenteritis and the urinary tract. Told about the infection.
But the pain continued to worsen and in late June, her sister took her to an emergency hospital unit. In mid-July, she underwent a 12-hour surgery to remove two cancerous tumors, one from the ovaries and the other from the bile ducts. He died in hospital at the age of 53, nine days later.
This was not an isolated tragedy.
Hospitals and other health care centers have been forced to devote most of their resources to Kovid-19 patients, and doctors are warning that the number of cases of cancer and other serious illnesses is increasing, leading to many more lives. Can eliminate the cost of That toll is beginning to be reflected in lawsuits.
The details of Ms. Beyoncé Gómez’s care are part of a lawsuit brought by her sister, Fatima Bayona, who wants Spain’s public prosecutors to be grossly negligent with local health officials in the northern city of Burgos. Last month, prosecutors said they would investigate the death.
Several other lawsuits have been filed in Burgos, with one woman learning that she had terminal cancer after trying for seven months to get her to the hospital for tests.
Carmen Floers, president of the institution that helped patients or their relatives take legal action, said her union had helped file more than 50 lawsuits since September, when Spain and other countries hit the second wave of Kovid-19 I had come. He said that his workload was increasing rapidly as a result of medical errors and oversights stemming from the doctors’ focus on Kovid-19 at the expense of other diseases.
Unlike some other countries, the Spanish government does not report how many medical lawsuits are filed each year. But Ms. Floers said that, due to the monitoring of court filings around the country, the number has risen by at least 30 percent so far this year.
Some lawsuits accuse doctors of refusing to see patients in person. But others claim that doctors did not want to touch patients as part of their examinations because of the risk of catching Kovid-19 or reaching wrong results.
For the most part, however, doctors say they are just overworked.
Doctors in many countries have warned that the epidemic may have dealt with other health problems, either through diversion of resources or because, especially in its early stages, people were afraid to seek help for other conditions .
The British Medical Association, the body of chief doctors in the UK, said there are fewer than 250,000 immediate cancer referrals in hospitals in April, May and June, compared to normal. A survey of American cancer patients published in April found nearly one in four delays in their care due to the epidemic.
But Spanish intermediaries say the country’s health care system is particularly exposed to weaknesses.
“In Spain, we have long been proud to be the best in the world in transplant-like specialties, but this epidemic is now making us realize how much we have neglected our primary health care,” Cesar Carballo Said, the emergency unit of Ramon y Cajal Hospital in Madrid.
“We have thousands of our professionals who have given up working abroad, and we really need to make them more attractive to work here again.”
Staff shortages in places such as Madrid have been particularly worrying. The leader of the Capital Region, Isabel Diaz Ayuso, is building a new hospital. But she is struggling to find health care professionals to work at a time when health labor unions are forcibly expressing dissatisfaction.
Last month, Spanish doctors held a nationwide walkout to protest their work conditions and warn officials against hiring additional doctors without sufficient qualifications.
“It will cost us a lot of time, money and effort to rebuild the foundation of our health care system,” Dr. Carballo said. “You can’t find new doctors in just a few months.”
Ms. Flores, from the association who helps patients take legal action, echoes those concerns.
“This virus is, at least, expected, to convince us that primary health care cannot work adequately when staff and investments have been consistently cut,” she said.
In another case of undetermined cancer, Lida Sainz-Mazza Zorilla, a radio journalist, has chronicled the last months of her sister, Sonia. She was 48 when she died of colon cancer in August, failing to see a doctor in person for three months. Instead, he received bad advice over the phone from his local health care center.
“Our public administration has used Kovid as an accurate excuse to keep doctors on the phone and completely remove the possibility that they can diagnose patients properly,” Ms. Sainz-Mazza Zorilla said.
“If her doctor had actually seen her and touched her, I’m pretty sure my sister would be alive today, because stomach cancer is terrible, but you don’t have to die like her,” she said.
Last month, the regional health minister, Veronica Casado, said at a press conference that she regretted “if something was done that was not done well in terms of treating Misze Soza-Mazza Zorilla”. On 6 October, government lawyers investigated her death from stomach cancer.
While doctors and nurses are facing a second wave of Kovid-19s with better protective gear than spring, their morale appears to be low.
“When I recently want to see 100 people a day, I can’t pay enough attention to a patient,” said Patricia Estevan, a doctor at a public health care center in Madrid.
Manuel Franco, a professor and researcher of epidemiology at Eluca de Henres University and assistant professor at Johns Hopkins University, said, “We have health care workers who are now tired not only because they’ve seen some improvement. In the past. Protocol from the spring, but promised not to hire more people. “
Still, some recent lawsuits reduce the risk for patients who receive hospital treatment due to the influx of Kovid-19 patients.
Jesús Pinos is on trial at a hospital in the northern city of Santander after the death of his grandmother María Delia Lagutasig Iza, who was mistakenly made to wait for his appendicitis surgery in a corridor filled with Kovid-19 patients.
Although she tested negative for coronovirus before her surgery, she received the Kovid-19 diagnosis a week later, eventually dying from it.
The hospital did not respond to a request for comment. Government lawyers in Santner opened their investigation on 26 October.
“She was the victim of some devastating medical mistakes you would never expect in a modern and functioning health care system,” Mr. Pinos said. “What is clear is that she was admitted to the hospital without Kovid, then she was sent home due to a cough and eventually died of the virus.”