Russia first treats Navalny for suspected poisoning, then U-turn: doctor


OMSK, Russia (Reuters) – Russia first treated Kremlin critic Alexey Navalnyi for suspected poisoning, but doctors changed his mind six hours later when laboratory tests returned that found there were no traces of poison in his system, He is treated by one of the doctors. .

FILE PHOTO: Alexander Sabaev, the hospital’s chief toxicologist, where Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny received medical treatment before his treatment in Germany, appears during an interview on September 4, 2020 in Omsk, Russia. REUTER / Alexey Malgavko

The reason for the 44-year-old Navalny’s fall in a domestic Russian flight last month is tensions in relations between Germany, where he is now being treated, and Russia, which denies Berlin’s allegation that he is being charged with Novichok, a Soviet Was poisoned with era nerve agent.

Navalny, the chief toxicologist at the Siberian hospital who was the first to treat Alexander Sabava, said that he was initially suspected of poisoning and that he and his colleagues treated him accordingly.

Navalny was put on a ventilator and put into an induced coma and given the emergency drug atropine, Sabaev said. This is in line with the general treatment of Novichok victims, a medical source familiar with the German results told Reuters.

But Sabave said the findings of the Russian laboratory were conclusive that Navalny had not been poisoned. He believes that the politician was suffering from a severe metabolic disorder.

“As a toxicologist I’m sure. There was no Novichok, ”Sabava said.

The immediate treatment Navalny received helped save his life, according to two medical sources, as after the pilot’s decision to make an emergency landing in Omsk when Navalny boarded his plane en route to Moscow.

The Omsk-based medical source said, “If the aircraft had not forced landing, the naval would not have survived.”

Sabava reported that Reuters doctors gave the politician three milligrams of atropine in his time.

He said that a problem with his lungs was to be treated.

Although Sabaev rejected the German finding, small doses of atropine – widely used in emergency situations – were true even if the dose was administered for minor and different reasons.

Novichok nerve agents trigger a wave of fatal effects, including slowing heart rate, fluid on the lungs and permanent nerve damage throughout the body. Atropine is one of the first treatments used to counter those immediate effects.

Sabava said he believed Navalny had a metabolic disorder, noting that his blood sugar level was four times higher than normal and that he had pancreatic problems. Other Omsk-based medical sources dispute that diagnosis.

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Navalny, an outspoken opponent of Russian President Vladimir Putin, was taken to Germany last month after a domestic Russian flight crashed. Prior to boarding, he drank a cup of tea that his colleagues said was poisoned.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has said that Berlin has concluded that Navalny was poisoned with Novichok, the same substance the UK said was used in an attack in England in 2018 against a Russian double agent and her daughter it was done.

Sabiev said Navalny was poisoned which was shared by the ambulance team in Omsk.

“We’ve undergone detoxification measures since suspected of poisoning. It’s infusion therapy, it’s forced diarrhea. It’s transfer to an artificial lung ventilator,” he said.

Sabaev said that after three sets of independent laboratory tests, no traces of poisons or toxins were found, which the doctors left for a toxic diagnosis.

He said that the equipment used by one of the laboratories in Omsk, which was not part of the hospital, was of “expert level”, built in the United States and technically capable of identifying Novichok if it Was present, he said.

An emergency medical doctor at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and an assistant professor at Harvard Medical School, Drs. Peter Chai said Russian doctors may have struggled to diagnose Novichok poisoning early in Novalny’s course of treatment.

“Confirmation testing … takes time with complex analytical techniques. It’s a granular process and I think doubting it may be premature.

Part of the problem is that there are many different versions of Novichok – most are still secret – so the exact chemical composition of the chemical agent in question cannot be immediately known outside of some highly secretive chemical warfare laboratories, Chai said .

Sabava said that he and his colleagues were ready to share the results of the 60 trials in digital form.

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In 2018 Novichok’s traces were found to be far-fetched in the case of poisoning Russian double agent Sergey Skripal and his daughter. A policeman became ill, and a woman, Don Sturges, died after being contaminated.

Sabava noted that there were no signs that the Russian doctors who treated Navalny had symptoms of poisoning.

“Everyone is alive and well,” he said.

Additional reporting by Sabine Siebold in Berlin; Guy Foulkbridge in London; Maria Tsivekova, Ghibib Stolirov and Rinat Sagdiev in Moscow; Writing by Andrew Osborne; Editing by Raisa Kasolowski

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