The Biden administration is placing blame for the tragic death of an eight-year-old migrant girl last month on medical personnel at a Border Patrol detention facility.
A report issued by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection listed a string of failures related to equipment, treatment records, and ignoring the child’s critical medical history as causes of her death. She suffered from sickle cell anemia and heart disease.
Anadith Tanay Reyes Alvarez experienced a “medical emergency” at a detention center in Harlington, Texas, on May 17. CBP officials this week released details on the events leading up to her quite possibly avoidable death.
When the child and her mother came to the medical isolation section of the CBP facility on May 14, she was experiencing flu-like symptoms along with pain and a fever. Her temperature spiked to 104.9 degrees.
They had already spent over a week at the facility, though regulations do not allow detainees to be held longer than three days.
Staff gave her Famiflu and used ice packs and other treatments to try to lower her fever, but they did not take her to the hospital.
Federal investigators revealed Thursday that a nurse rejected several requests to take the migrant girl to the hospital on the day that she died. According to the report from the CBP’s Office of Professional Responsibility, several requests by her mother were ignored.
Interviews were conducted by investigators with Border Patrol officials and contractors at the facility. Cameras that were supposed to be recording events there were reportedly inoperable.
Medical contractors saw the girl roughly nine different times between May 14 and early on May 17. She and her family had been transferred there after she began to exhibit flu-like symptoms.
CBP officials noted that “despite the girl’s condition, her mother’s concerns, and the series of treatments required to manage her condition, contracted medical personnel did not transfer to a hospital for higher-level care.”
On the morning of May 17, Reyes Alvarez told staff that she was having difficulty breathing along with stomach pains and nausea. She was seen four times that day by a nurse who told investigators that her oxygen levels appeared normal each time.
The agency further noted that “the nurse practitioner also reported denying three or four requests from the girl’s mother for an ambulance to be called or for her to be taken to the hospital.”
The review showed the medical staff also failed to consult with on-call physicians, including a pediatrician.