Published: Sat, September 01, 2018
Medicine | By Tracy Klein

Guatemalan Says Poor Medical Care At ICE Site Killed Child

Guatemalan Says Poor Medical Care At ICE Site Killed Child

Yazmin Juarez, 20, and her 19-month-old daughter, Mariee, were detained at a facility in Dilley, Texas, "with unsafe conditions, neglectful medical care, and inadequate supervision", according to her law firm in a statement.

The pair were held at the South Texas Family Residential Center in Dilley, Texas.

According to Vice News, Mariee began to develop a cough and had a fever that reached 104 degrees Fahrenheit (40 degrees Celsius). Some of the other children in the room were sick and one little boy had "a constant cough and runny nose, and was very lethargic". Juarez was told by one of the mothers that the boy became ill upon arriving at Dilley and was denied medical care.

After Marie's condition worsened over several weeks, she and Yazmin were transferred from the facility to stay with family in New Jersey. Staffing includes registered nurses and licensed practical nurses, licensed mental health providers, mid-level providers that include a physician's assistant and nurse practitioner, a physician, dental care, and access to 24-hour emergency care. During their almost three weeks at the facility, Juarez sought medical attention for Mariee at least five times, according to her attorneys.

Mariee died six and half weeks later after being taken to the hospital. She died on May 10, 2018.

On Tuesday, her lawyers filed a notice of claim against the city of Eloy, Arizona, which is the prime contractor for the federal government in operating the Dilley facility. "Mariee Juarez entered Dilley a healthy baby girl and 20 days later was discharged a gravely ill child with a life-threatening respiratory infection".

"We are working with Yazmin and her family to obtain justice for the failures by ICE and others, and to ensure that no other family suffers such a needless and devastating loss". The former president of the American Academy of Pediatrics, who examined the girl's medical records, stressed that the medical staff at the Immigration Service Center did not provide basic care while instructing people who were not doctors to provide pediatric care.

"When there are signs of persistent and serious illness in a toddler, it is essential to look for care", he said. "Immigration Service staff did not look for Mariee care nor did they look into antibiotic delivery intravenously when the girl could not get them by mouth".

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