TEL AVIV (VINnews) — Famished, frail corona patients without a medical team available in their ward. This is the all too familiar claim being made by families of coronavirus victims in Israel who are furious and worried that the health of their loved ones, including their mental health is deteriorating due to neglect of the hospital staff which doesn’t frequent the corona wards enough since it requires special protective measures each time. The result is that patients are starving and desperate for some food, according to a Channel N12 investigation.
Yehuda Lev-Ari passed away last month at Ichilov hospital in Tel Aviv at the age 71 after he was diagnosed with the coronavirus. His son Shai claims that his father had initially gone to hospital due to weakness and a slight temperature. After his corona test came out positive he was transferred to a special ward. He felt depressed that his family could not visit him there and called them to complain that he was not getting enough food and ended up hungry because the food came late or at irregular hours. When he told a nurse that he needed meals at fixed hours due to his diabetic condition, she said that it was the doctors decision and not hers. Shai says that the lack of balanced diet harmed his father’s health and that the nurses told him to drink water.”You could hear in his voice that he was getting weaker. He complained on Shabbat that he was very weak since he hadn’t eaten and there was no doctor on hand to check him.”
The family tried visiting him during those last days but were prevented from seeing him and could only communicate by telephone. On March 28th, the final Shabbat of his life, Yehuda complained that he couldn’t move his right leg and it was paralyzed. Shai heard him telling an orderly that he could not move his leg.
During the night the family tried calling and there was no answer from Yehuda or from the hospital reception. Desperate, they called his roommate who said that Yehuda had suffered a stroke and had been sedated and intubated. Only later the next the family was informed that he had undergone an emergency catheterization procedure but it was too late to save him. Four days later he died and Shai claims the hospital “wasted precious time and foot-dragged, costing my father his life.”
Others also testified that the hospitals were neglecting corona patients. “My father was scared of dying of hunger, not of corona,” a child of a COVID-19 patient in serious condition said.
Another patient who recovered said that “I was weak and frail, I asked to eat but it always took hours until one of the staff came and gave me food. From my family I couldn’t ask anything because they couldn’t enter the hospital, so I was left to the whims of the staff who did not succeed in providing the most elementary thing- food. Even when I asked for tea or coffee they said that it wasn’t possible because the hot water facility was faulty.”
The hospital responded by saying that “the patient was admitted with severe signs of COVID-19 and other previous conditions. The day after he was hospitalized he was checked by three separate doctors: An internal medicine specialist as well as a vascular specialist and a neurologist. He had a CAT- scan and catheterization procedure at short notice. The hospital investigation revealed that it took a considerable time until the family was updated about his condition, but this was a night shift in a very complex coronavirus department with seriously ill patients requiring attention. Despite this the medical treatment he received was correct.”