A young man committed suicide after receiving a positive COVID-19 test result – one that turned out to be wrong, Mexican News Daily reported on Sunday.
Mario Alberto, a 29-year-old from Mexico, experienced severe anxiety after taking a rapid COVID-19 test and receiving a positive result. While waiting for the results of his second test, the young man was admitted to a coronavirus ward in one of the local hospitals in Monclova, where he decided to end his life.
According to the medical team that treated him at the Monclova General Hospital last Saturday, Alberto presented them with proof of receiving a positive result on a COVID-19 rapid test that he took elsewhere and testified that he showed symptoms of the virus, which convinced the staff to admit him to the hospital's special coronavirus ward while he waited for the results of the second, more accurate test.
But a couple of days later, for reasons not completely clear, the young man entered a hospital bathroom alone and decided to end his life. He was found 20 minutes later by a nurse, hanging from a sheet he had tied to the door.
It seems like the hospital and its staff will not be held accountable for the tragic incident, Leopoldo Santillán, a Coahuila social security administrator indicated.
“It was an unexpected incident,” he told Mexican News Daily. “We cannot take measures against staff because this wasn’t a case of homicide; it was a chance occurrence.”
Santillán added that the young man was capable of entering the bathroom by himself and that it wasn't the hospital staff's responsibility to accompany someone in his condition to the bathroom.
Perhaps the most tragic aspect of this whole story is that the second test that was administered on Alberto came out negative after his untimely death.
Santillán explained that under the hospital's protocol for handling the pandemic, COVID-19 patients are eligible for follow-up psychological consulting, but that the hospital cannot and is not expected to predict unexpected incidents such as this.
“The protocol states that they receive psychological support after leaving the hospital due to the anxiety that the disease leaves patients with,” he said. “We can’t predict if someone is already coming to us with anxiety. That is something that is attended to at the general practitioner level.”