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Ants, bodies and oxygen — DHR releases documents addressing social media allegations

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  • Ants, bodies and oxygen — DHR releases documents addressing social media allegations

    Matthew Wilson
    July 24, 2020

    EDINBURG — Doctors Hospital at Renaissance released hundreds of documents Thursday that address claims of impropriety made on social media last weekend, providing a glimpse into a Rio Grande Valley hospital’s COVID-19 response efforts that is unprecedented in detail.

    The documents respond to a total of 14 claims, providing receipts, hospital protocols, inventories and staffing information. A four-page summary at the beginning of the document lists the allegations, DHR’s opinion on the facts of those allegations and the actions the organization took to remedy problems, if any.

    ... A claim that ants were found within COVID-19 units, on patients and on equipment was addressed more obliquely in five pages, three of which are screenshots of the Twitter complaints themselves.

    The other two pages were receipts from BugWorks Termite and Pest Control Co., which treated DHS facilities for ants on July 7, 8, 10 and 17.

    “Ant problem noted on 7/7/20,” the allegation’s entry in the summary reads. “Problem immediately addressed and BugWorks onsite same day.”

    A response to a claim that a body had been handled inappropriately gives some insight into how Valley hospitals are dealing with a drastic increase in deaths, coronavirus-related or otherwise.

    The hospital acknowledged that there was an instance in which a body was held for 11 hours, stating that staff had notified a funeral home within one hour of the patient’s death but waited for several hours before their arrival.

    DHR responded to that incident by purchasing three refrigerated trailers on July 7, 17 and 21.

    ... Other allegations addressed include that of a “perfectly fine” patient dying due to lost oxygen supply. In the documents, DHR states that although a patient in one of the COVID-19 wards died on July 5 and an issue with oxygen supply was reported that same day, the patient’s condition was deteriorating prior to the low oxygen alert.

    “After full assessment from medical technology associates Praxair and VP of Facilities and Assets at DHR Health it was determined that gauge needed to be replaced and oxygen supply was not lost due to auxiliary system providing oxygen,” DHR summarized in response to the allegation.