The Paraguayan government stepped in at the Ciudad del Este Regional Hospital to determine whether the deaths of some 70 patients were caused by negligence, the Health Ministry said Monday.
The ministry said in a communique that it took charge of the medical center last week following reports connecting 70 deaths, mostly of children, with cases of medical negligence in the intensive care unit.
The largest percentage of deaths occurred in the last six months of 2013, according to the ministry.
“The report is strong but we still can’t talk about numbers until we have the definitive version,” Health Minister Antonio Barrios said, adding that a thorough review will be made of each of the deceased patients’ case histories.
Barrios said that if the “incidents as reported” are verified, the case will be sent to the Attorney General’s Office.
The health minister said that “most of the children’s deaths involved births after labor at home, traffic accidents or generalized infections (sepsis), all very critical cases,” the minister said.
“We can’t talk about negligence or incompetence yet. We’re going to study each case and see what measures to take. However, the Health Ministry has already taken the opportune measures,” Barrios said.