HARLINGEN, Texas (Border Report) — U.S. Customs and Border Protection said contracted medical care providers did not send an 8-year-old migrant girl for hospitalized emergency care in the days leading up to her death, according to a statement issued late Thursday by the agency.
“Despite the girl’s condition, her mother’s concerns, and the series of treatments required to manage her condition, contract medical personnel did not transfer her to a hospital for higher level care,” the CBP statement said.
Anadith Tanay Reyes Alvarez, 8, of Panama, died May 17 at a CBP processing facility in Harlingen, Texas, where she was isolated and being treated for the flu.
In prior statements, CBP said the girl had been seen and was being treated with antiviral flu medication and for a high fever for three days prior to her death.
But in a statement late Thursday, CBP said “the closed-circuit television recording system at HRL (the Harlingen facility) was not functioning during the time the family was in custody,” according to an ongoing investigation by the CBP Office of Professional Responsibility.
Investigators say contract medical personnel were aware of her fever and flu and other symptoms and were treating her from May 14 until she died on May 17.
A day before her death, her fever peaked to 104.9 degrees, the statement said. They treated her with ice packs, fever-reducing medicine and a cold shower.
The day she died, May 17, she was seen four times by a nurse practitioner complaining of a stomach ache, nausea and difficulty breathing, according to the statement.
Her heart rate and oxygen were tested with each visit “with normal findings,” they report.
And the nurse practitioner reported denying three requests from the girl’s mother to send an ambulance to take her to the hospital.
According to the statement, another contract medical worker brought a pile of documents and a bottle of folic acid tablets from the family unit, where they had previously been, a few hours later.
“The nurse practitioner declined to review the papers but did agree to the mother’s request to administer one folic acid tablet to her daughter,” the report says.
Three hours later, after their fourth visit with the nurse practitioner, the mother returned with the girl in her arms “who appeared to be having a seizure. Shortly thereafter she became unresponsive and medical personnel and medical personnel requested emergency medical services and initiatives cardio pulmonary resuscitation.”
Within the hour, South Texas Emergency Medical Services arrived at the facility “and took over life-saving efforts.”
The girl and her mother were separately transported to Valley Baptist Medical Center in Harlingen, “where the girl was declared deceased by medical personell at the facility at 2:50 p.m.”
So far the investigation has found that no contracted medical personnel, nor Border Patrol agents were aware she suffered from sickle cell anemia or a heart condition, CBP says.
“Contracted medical personnel did not consult with on-call physicians about the girl’s condition, symptoms or treatment. The contracted medical personnel failed to document numerous medical encounters, emergency antipyretic interventions and administration,” CBP says.
The closed-circuit television system had been broken at the facility since April. It was fixed on May 23, CBP says.