Saturday, July 18, 2015

ALS Patient's Sad Situation at Vitas Hospice

Hospice facility to take breathing machine from ALS patient photo

Atlanta media reported contention between Vitas Hospice and ALS patient Hector Torres.  AJC's article offered:

An Atlanta man battling ALS is fighting a hospice care facility to keep machines he needs to live.  Hector Torres has to live his life hooked up to two machines that help keep him alive.  "I'm dying. I'm suffocating, because I can't breathe," Torres said. He suffers from ALS, a disease that affects nerve cells in his brain and spinal cord.

ALS patients face a certain outcome, death.  When the diaphragm weakens patients are unable to expel carbon dioxide in their lungs.

Torres told Channel 2's Tyisha Fernandes he needs two machines to breath, a ventilator and another to supply oxygen.
Vitas Hospice's medical team determined Torres needed assistance expelling carbon dioxide from his lungs and would benefit from prescribing oxygen.    

Vitas Hospice officials were letting him use the machines in his home, but now that the location is under new management the hospice is taking back one of the machines.

The machines were prescribed as part of Mr. Torres hospice treatment, provided by Vitas, likely through a contract arrangement.  New management should have nothing to do with giving Mr. Torres what he needs to treat his symptoms and keep him comfortable. The article gave this response from Vitas: