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Thessaloniki: Patient dies in hospital ER, body discovered hours later

A 43-year-old man died on a chair in the emergency room of a big hospital in Thessaloniki and his body was discovered hours later, when the medical staff changed shift. The man had gone to the hospital with a pain in the leg, the doctors did not find anything wrong and sent him home. The patient refused to go claiming that he was not feeling well.

Nobody paid attention.

His family has hired a technical advisor and a lawyer seeking justice for the death of their beloved one.

The case becomes known as on social media, more and more Greeks complain about the circumstances in the dramatically understaffed public hospitals, more than two years of the pandemic. They complain about staff shortage, overworked medical and nursing staff, of administration employees and even medical staff who leave their places without any notice, of examination time sometimes reduced to just a few minutes, and and increasingly bullying behavior towards patients.

Greeks blame the government for these circumstances, saying that it has given up the public health care system for the sake of privatizations.


The unprecedented case of the 43-year-old man

According to media reports, a surgeon of the Papanikolaou hospital examined the patient in the emergency room late at night on April 1, 2022. He ruled that he had nothing serious and could leave. However, the patient reacted to his discharge saying that he was still not feeling well and there was reportedly even tension with the emergency staff.

When he refused to leave the hospital, the staff called the security guards who demanded that he leaves the area. The patient insisted that he won’t leave and went to sit on a chair in the emergency room.

He died about an hour and a half later .

His body was “discovered” many hours later, at 11 o’ clock in the morning, when the medical staff changed shift.

The unprecedented adventure in one of the biggest public hospitals in the country did not end there.

As the deceased had no ID card, the Greek Police was informed. Police officers who arrived at the spot started to call  relatives of the people who had arrived at the emergency room that night.

After contacting the hospital staff – and while the doctor who gave the discharge was absent – the relatives of the 43-year-old finally received a call telling them to go to Papanikolaou hospitals to identify the body.

An autopsy has found that cause of the death was pulmonary embolism.

“Had they measure his oxygen,they would have understood that the man was dying”

Still in shock one and a half month after the tragic death of his brother, Andreas Karabas told local media that “the protocol was not followed and that led to the death” of his brother.

“”If the necessary examinations were performed, my brother would not have ended,” Karabas stressed.

When the victim’s family confirmed the identification of the deceased man and signed the necessary papers, they told the hospital administration 43-year-old, they stated that they would take legal action against anyone responsible for negligent homicide.

The technical advisor of the family, Dimitris Galenteris explained to ThessToday that the mechanism of the pulmonary embolism is under investigation.

“From the autopsy findings, we are investigating the scenario of a pulmonary embolism, ie a thrombus that started from the lower extremities and reached the lungs and blocked their perfusion,” Galenteris said emphasizing, however, that “it is not yet for sure, as we are waiting for the results of the toxicological-histo-pathological examinations that will give us answers to the causes of death.”

According to the technical advisor of the family, the results are expected within the next five months.
“We are looking to see if with some simple measures the tragedy could have been avoided”

The legal advisor of the family, Theodoros Manolis, stated in his statements that in case a negligent homicide is found, the relatives of the victim will file a lawsuit against anyone responsible.

“Together with the technical advisor we appointed and the medical examiners of both ELAS and the hospital, we are waiting for answers about the exact causes of death, whether there were mistakes and omissions from the hospital staff and whether the tragedy could have been avoided if any simple measures were taken,” Manolis said.

Death of 3-year-old girl

Meanwhile, the parents of a 3-year-old girl that died in another hospital of Thessaloniki, on April 30, filed a lawsuit against the Ippokratio hospital.

The girl was submitted to hospital with a ankle swelling. She was transferred to the Intensive Care Unit where she died a couple of hours later of “multiple organs collapse,” so the official cause of death.

The toddler was initially admitted to another hospital, Papageorgiou before she was taken to Ipppokratio.

The parents told media that the initial diagnosis was the “Kawasaki disease” as a side effect of long Covid-19 because the girl was infected with the coronavirus some time ago and had recovered.

The girl was reportedly receiving treatment for the Kawasaki disease that causes swelling (inflammation) in children in the walls of small to medium-sized blood vessels that carry blood throughout the body.

*thumbnail picture: archive

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