In Luis Razetti Hospital in Barcelona, to be specific,
Around 10 one recent night, Dr. Freddy Díaz walked down a hall there that had become an impromptu ward for patients who had no beds. Some clutched blood-soaked bandages and called from the floor for help. One, brought in by the police, was handcuffed to a gurney. In a supply room, cockroaches fled as the door swung open.
Dr. Díaz logged a patient’s medical data on the back of a bank statement someone had thrown in the trash.
“We have run out of paper here,” he said.
On the fourth floor, one of his patients, Rosa Parucho, 68, was one of the few who had managed to get a bed, though the rotting mattress had left her back covered in sores.
But those were the least of her problems: Ms. Parucho, a diabetic, was unable to receive kidney dialysis because the machines were broken. An infection had spread to her feet, which were black that night. She was going into septic shock.
Ms. Parucho needed oxygen, but none was available. Her hands twitched and her eyes rolled into the back of her head.
“The bacteria aren’t dying; they’re growing,” Dr. Díaz said, noting that three of the antibiotics Ms. Parucho needed had been unavailable for months.
This from yet another harrowing, front-page-above-the-fold story on Venezuela – this time by Nicholas Casey in the International New York Times:Caracas Chronicles is 100% reader-supported. Support independent Venezuelan journalism by making a donation.