Life support protocols followed at Bimini clinic, Sands says
Minister of Health Dr. Duane Sands yesterday defended the emergency care an American man received at the Alice Town clinic on Bimini.
Police said the American man, who was identified as Alain Perez, was shot multiple times shortly after 1 a.m. while at a residence on Bimini on Sunday. He was taken to the Alice Town clinic where he later died.
Perez’s relatives and friends took to social media and news outlets in Florida and alleged that the clinic on Bimini was not equipped to deal with gunshot wounds and decried the delay in the deployment of air ambulance services.
Sands insisted that everything was done according to protocol.
“This is an awful tragedy and any time anybody is injured, shot [or] killed in the Commonwealth of The Bahamas I think we should all take pause,” Sands said.
“That said I think as the investigation unfolds we will learn a little bit more about what happened to this gentleman, the nature of his injuries, which will be fully revealed with his autopsy.”
Sands said he was advised that Perez was greeted at the clinic by a consultant physician, who performed advanced trauma life support care to him.
“The patient was shot multiple times to the torso and…he did indeed have life threatening injuries and he succumbed from these injuries,” Sands said.
Sands said the physician would have made contact with air ambulances from New Providence and air ambulances from the United States, but based on protocol, they had to wait for acceptance from a hospital in the United States.
“In the hour and 50 minutes or so that she was caring for him, no acceptance or admittance to hospital in the United States was obtained and as such the air ambulance service was scrambled from New Providence to bring him to Doctors Hospital,” Sands added.
“Unfortunately the patient succumbed before the air ambulance arrived.
“This is a horrible tragedy and I think there’s an awful lot of speculation.
“We would like to obviously optimize every single health facility, not just for tourists but also for Bahamians.”
In a statement last night, the government decried “this random and heinous act of violence”.
“It is unfortunate when these incidents happen anywhere in the world and we are saddened that such an incident took place on Bimini,” the statement said.
It continued, “As a destination we welcome millions of visitors to our shores annually, and The Bahamas takes any incident affecting a visitor very seriously.
“This remains a very active investigation by the Royal Bahamas Police Force, which is using all available resources to bring this matter to a conclusion.
“Members of the Royal Bahamas Police Force have met with the mother and sister of Mr. Perez.
“The government offers its deepest condolences to the family of Mr. Perez during this difficult time.”
Education: Vrije Universiteit Brussel (University of Brussels), MA in Mass Communications