Tuesday, 12 July 2011

Man becomes quadriplegic four days after beating

ALGECIRAS (Agencies) A 52 year old man, M.F.N., was beaten severely in the early hours of July 3, when he was walking in the cool along Paseo de la Cornisa (photo), near the La Terraza bar. His family is looking into denouncing the Punta de Europa Hospital, which they consider to have been negligent during the first days after the attack, because he was treated only with anti-inflammatory drugs. The attack occurred at 1.40 in the morning, the result of a mugging. The alleged aggressor, identified as D.J.J. threatened to kill the victim if he didn't hand over his money. When M.F.N. said he wasn't carrying any at all, he was hit in the face, causing him to fall to the ground, which the attacker used to register his pockets while he continued to hit him and demand all his belongings. Grabbing several bracelets and a silver pendant, D.J.J. ran off, still threatening the victim. There were people in the vicinity but none offered to help, except the security guard at the bar nearby, who called the police and ambulance service. But the ambulance never turned up,>>>
say the victim's family, so a National Police inspector and the bar owner helped take M.F.N. to a car to transport him to hospital.

The attacker was found and arrested a few streets away and is now 'at the disposal of the courts'. But the sad story does not end there.

The victim arrived at the hospital with severe bruising and contusions in several parts of the body. The prognosis that same night at the Emergency unit said: "Not grave except if complications." The family says that X-rays were taken but no scans, despite their repeated request for an MRI. The hospital did not think this was necessary. As a result, the victim was prescribed some anti-inflammatory pills and told to go home.

Things got worse. First, M.F.N. lost control of his sphincters, say the family, but a doctor in Emergencies refused to see him on the following day. They were still demanding a scan. Then he began to get dizzy spells, which worsened progressively over the next three days. Then he began to lose mobility.

The Punta de Europa Hospital then decided that the man's situation was severe enough for him to be sent to the Puerta del Mar Hospital in Cadiz. He was taken there by an ambulance reserved for patients in critical condition. Last Thursday, M.F.N. was operated on in a life saving intervention. And now he is quadriplegic.

The family is asking why he was denied a scan at first, which might well have meant an operation much sooner and probably avoided the present situation. They have asked for his medical records to begin proceedings against the Punta de Europa, they say, though they praise the staff at Puerta del Mar, "who behaved magnificently."

The SAS (Servicio Andaluz de Salud) say that the "emergency policy was followed rigorously" and that "the required assistance for the situation" was given. They said that the haematoma (bruising) that has caused the present situation "could not have been found during the first days because it is undetecable until days later."

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