An 8-year-old girl, who died a week after being held in Customs and Border Protection last month, was seen 11 times before being taken to hospital, according to new details provided by the agency conducting the inspections. internal investigation.
While the investigation is ongoing, preliminary findings indicate that the child, Anadith Danai Reyes Alvarez, a Panamanian national, was not provided with proper medical care while in government custody. On Thursday, the agency’s acting commissioner, Troy Miller, said that “several medical providers involved in this incident are now prohibited from operating at CBP facilities.”
Why it matters: Overcrowding was a concern at border facilities.
According to CBP’s own standards, Anadeth and her family should not be held for more than three days. But border facilities were seriously overcrowded when the family was arrested as part of a group of 47 migrants who crossed into Brownsville, Texas, on May 9. The family entered the US at a time when the number of daily illegal crossings was at record levels. , which Biden administration officials have long predicted could lead to dangerous and inhumane conditions at crowded border facilities.
BACKGROUND: The girl’s health history was ignored.
Anadeth had a heart condition since birth and had sickle cell anemia. Her family provided her health history to medical staff when they were taken into Border Patrol custody in Donna, Texas. But internal investigators did not recognize any of the medical personnel she interacted with at the facility to which her family was transferred with knowledge of her health history.
Between the evening of May 14 and the afternoon of May 17, when Anadeth died, she was seen nine times by medical professionals at the Border Patrol facility in Harlingen, Texas. No one consulted with an on-call pediatrician about her symptoms or treatment.
Prior to her arrival at the Harlingen facility, Anadith was seen by a medical professional on May 10 at a CBP facility in Donna as part of the intake process, and was seen again on May 14, when she complained of abdominal and nasal pain. congestion and cough At that time, she was diagnosed and treated for influenza A. She and her family are taken to the Harlington facility, where the Border Patrol is holding immigrants in medical isolation.
A nurse practitioner who saw Anadith told investigators that she had refused three or four requests from the child’s mother to call an ambulance or take her to a hospital. Anadeth was seen by medical staff four times on the day of her death, but officials did not call for emergency assistance until Anadeth’s mother carried her to the health unit for the fifth time as Anadeth appeared to be having an epileptic fit and soon became unresponsive. The agency said that she was declared dead in hospital.
What’s next: Officials announce the changes.
Mr Miller said the agency had already taken steps to fix the “deficiencies” that were reflected in Anadeth’s care. One such step is to prioritize “medically vulnerable” migrants for prompt treatment and release them from government custody.
On the day Anadith died, immigrants had been held for an average of four-and-a-half days, according to internal data obtained by The New York Times, compared to an average of just under three days on May 10. The average time immigrant families were in detention decreased by 50 percent two weeks after Annadith’s death.
In addition, the Department of Health and Human Services has pledged to send doctors from the Department of Public Health to some border facilities next week.
While the number of daily border crossings dropped sharply just days after Anadith and her family arrived in Brownsville, there are reports that migrant shelters along parts of Mexico’s northern border are full, a sign that crossings may start to increase again this month.