Diego Soto went to Public hospital Villa Regina in Argentina on June 6 complaining of a toothache, but he never made it out alive. The doctors treated him with an injection and Soto later returned to his home only to be found dead early the next morning.
A preliminary autopsy classified the cause of death as “acute pulmonary edema,” a condition in which abnormal fluid builds up in the lungs. Symptoms include difficulty breathing, coughing up foam and mucus, wheezing, and tightness in the chest. Experts say the condition can lead to respiratory failure or cardiac arrest.
His family has accused the doctor of malpractice and are demanding a full investigation into Soto’s death.
“He was healthy. He liked to play sports, he rode bicycles, and he liked to go running. He was a very active person,” Abril Suárez, Soto’s partner, told Diario Río Negro, a local news outlet. “We believe that there was malpractice, and that is why we are waiting for the results of the autopsy to be able to say that it was so.”
Soto was considered healthy and didn’t have any prior conditions before coming down with a toothache. However, he recently ran into health complications after taking a job at an oil company. A public prosecutor has taken on the case and says that further analysis of the samples taken from Soto is needed to assess the cause of death. Soto’s partner added that they went to sleep shortly before midnight after he went to the hospital for his toothache. “Then he woke up scared and he told me that he can’t move,” Suárez said. “We decided to call his parents. He was conscious and lucid, we even talked with his parents.”
His brother, Octavio Soto, inspected him and told a local news outlet that his brother couldn’t feel his arms and legs. The family then called an ambulance, but Soto had to be taken by car because of delays. The doctors at the hospital tried to stabilize him just before 6 a.m. local time and he was pronounced dead on June 7.
“They never explained his paralysis to us or anything that could have happened to him,” Suárez explained. “We believe there was malpractice. We made the complaint and we asked for the autopsy, which at first the doctor did not want to have it done, and she told us that the hospital was not going to take charge of it.”
According to the hospital where he was treated, Soto was injected with diclofenac and dexamethasone, anti-inflammatory compounds with limited serious side effects.
This is a developing story.