According to a report from the medical board appointed to investigate Diego Maradona’s death, he was in pain for 12 hours and the medical staff treating him was “deficient, careless, and insensitive” when faced with his imminent death.
The medical board concluded in its report that the Argentine football legend “did not have full use of his mental faculties” and may have had “a greater chance of survival” if he had been admitted to a healthcare facility, which would be part of the judicial inquiry into his death, the prosecutor handling the case confirmed to CNN.
Investigators are looking into whether the former footballer was treated in a house during his final days and whether his mental state helped him to make decisions on his own, as well as a lack of care for his heart condition.
The medical board article, which CNN obtained from a source familiar with the event, mentions each of these elements. While no one has been officially charged, seven individuals have been informed that they are being investigated, even though they deny any involvement.
“Although it is counterfactual to assert that DAM (Diego Armando Maradona) wouldn’t have died if he had been treated adequately, taking into account what was known about the days leading up to his death we agree that he would have had a better chance of survival if he had been treated in a healthcare facility according to medical best practice,” reads the report.
The investigation strongly criticized Maradona’s medical staff, which included neurosurgeon Leopoldo Luque and psychiatrist Agustina Cosachov.
The board said it is possible to infer “that the medical team viewed fully and completely the possibility of the patient’s death, were completely indifferent to the possibility, and didn’t change their behaviour or treatment plan, sustaining the damaging omissions laid out previously, leaving the patient’s health ‘to chance.'”
Luque revealed his professional relationship with Maradona to investigators in November. “There’s no evidence that I was careless,” he said.
In December, Cosachov’s lawyer told CNN that his client “had used her best judgment from a medical point of view.”
Experts also backed up the findings of an autopsy, which found that the cause of death was “acute pulmonary oedema secondary to the exacerbation of persistent cardiac insufficiency,” and that no narcotics or alcohol were found in his system.
They did emphasize, however, that Maradona, who was 60 at the time of his death, was in excruciating pain for a long time.
“DAM started to die at least 12 hours before 12.30 p.m. on 25/11/2020, which is to say there were unmistakable signs of a period of prolonged agony, and as a result, we conclude that the patient was not adequately monitored from 00:30 a.m.” that day.
“The warning signs that the patient exhibited were ignored,” continue the experts, who also mention an audio message sent to Maradona’s loved ones by physical therapist Nicolás Taffarel. Last week I told them we had to get him up because he could develop a pulmonary edema,” he said.
The former footballer “did not have full use of his mental faculties, nor was he in a fit state to make decisions about his health, from at least the time he was admitted to (the medical clinic in the city of La Plata),” according to the report.
It goes on to explain Maradona’s alleged “home hospitalization” after he was checked out of the Olivos Clinic on November 11 and died two weeks later at a house in Tigre, in the northern part of Buenos Aires.
The home hospitalization “was not so,” according to the board, because “the basic requirements to hospitalize a patient with multiple complex pathologies like those DAM had did not exist.”
The medical experts also said that the nursing staff at the house was “plagued by anomalies and defects,” and that “practising doctors” and “therapeutic assistants” were not performing the “right checks and treatment.”
Finally, the board addressed Maradona’s prescription for psychiatric treatment.
Despite the fact that “this drug was appropriate in both dose and posology for his nervous condition,” it can’t be ruled out “that this medication didn’t play a role in the fatal outcome” because “cardiological and laboratory studies were not carried out in the 14 days before death.”
Despite the fact that anyone under investigation claims they did nothing wrong, they have yet to comment on the medical board findings, which will be examined by lawyers working on the case to determine how the judicial investigation will proceed.