A 17-year-old boy died in Chile after seeking help at 4 hospitals and waiting 12 hours for treatment

At the Puerto Montt Hospital, he promised to clarify the facts denounced as soon as possible.  (Image source:
At the Puerto Montt Hospital, he promised to clarify the facts denounced as soon as possible. (Image source:

A 17-year-old Chilean adolescent died after wait for care for 12 hours in a hospital. The authorities they investigate the death as a quasi-crime of homicide.

The case originated on the night of December 6 when the young man was referred as “urgent” from a care center to the Hospital of the city of Puerto Monttlocated in southern Chile, due to his poor health condition.

The adolescent suffereda number of medical complicationsdecay, headache, petechial lesions in the extremities, platelet count below normal and thermal rise.

Despite entering the place with all these ailments, the minor and his mother did not receive care for three hours. The woman warned the health personnel about the poor condition of her son, but she received the answer that she should wait. At 02:00 hours she insisted again but received another refusal.

“Around 9:00 AM, and after 12 hours of waiting, the mother insisted again, to which she was told that there would not be a box available to provide care, therefore, they had to continue waiting.”

However, the minor worsened and began to vomit blood. The background of this case ensures that, in that second, the health personnel reacted despite the previous warnings and “to the need for an emergency blood transfusion due to the low level of platelets in the blood.”

The young man would have suffered a stroke that was not treated in time. A letter issued by the deputy, Héctor Ulloa, details that he suffered from undiagnosed leukemia. Subsequently, the victim was directed to the Valdivia Hospital, a city located 744 kilometers south of Santiago. On Saturday afternoon, his death was confirmed.

Administrative processes

Deputy Ulloa demanded “to initiate the necessary and corresponding administrative processes in order to determine the possible responsibilities” of those who have to do with this case.

The parliamentarian explained that this situation arises “in a context where there is no appointed holder in terms of health. We have a deputy director of Health, a deputy hospital director and a deputy Regional Ministerial Secretary (Seremi) for health”.

From the Puerto Montt hospital, through its Communications Unit, they regretted the case “and we affirm that the background information will be gathered to clarify the reported facts as soon as possible. It should be noted that to date there is no claim or formal complaint in this regard in the OIRS of the Hospital Puerto Montt”.

Prosecutor Marcelo Maldonado explained to Radio Bio Bio that the attention that the minor received before his death will be investigated in the Private clinic Puerto Montt and in the Larch SARas well as in the Puerto Mont Hospital and the one of Valdivia. It will seek to establish how many hours he had to wait in each establishment by reviewing surveillance cameras.

“-It will be investigated- what were the previous attentions that he received, both in a private health facility, what were the symptoms he referred to at that first moment; later, what were the attentions in the SAR, in the Hospital and in Valdivia”.

In this case, a complaint was filed for quasi-crime of homicide that is being investigated by the Homicide Brigade of Puerto Montt.

The Undersecretary of Assistance Networks, Fernando Araos, said that “given the seriousness of the facts denounced about the care received, we have instructed the Reloncaví Health Service to carry out a meticulous clinical audit and an administrative summary as quickly as possible to clarify the facts and determine failures and possible responsibilities to brevity”.

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