Medical crisis reaffirms trust in beach town care

One hour after undergoing routine throat survey at Hospital CIMA, Brad Sanson started to bleed uncontrollably. Six hours later, back in a hospital bed, the bleeding had subsided. By then he had lost a third of his blood. The week following his release and return to his home in Jacó, the real estate developer said he noticed he was only feeling worse.

What followed was difficult, but both Sanson and his wife attribute the welcomed outcome to the fact that quality health care is available in the beach community.

Sanson’s wife, Kimberly Laferriere, saw her husband getting paler, weaker, and more exhausted after he returned home. Sanson said to her that he felt like a smart phone with 2 percent battery life left. That Thursday they had doctors Masiel Nájera and Orlando Quesada at the nearby Ocean Medical Center take further blood tests to check if the condition was more than just a prolonged recovery.

The results came back two days later, and Ms. Nájera made an in-home visit with Sanson, whose kidneys had shut down so toxins normally filtered out by the organs were being released into his blood. “We made the general check-up and discovered he had a complication with his initial bleeding,” Ms. Nájera said. “We saw that his kidneys were really failing.”

Sanson’s hemoglobin level reached a mark of 10, when the normal adult male is supposed to have a level between 14 and 18.

Ms. Nájera called Quesada once she received the discouraging test results and told him to double check them. Still wearing his board shorts and sandals from a day of surfing, Quesada rushed over and brought an internal medicine specialist from Puntarenas. After 45 minutes the tests confirmed that Sanson had acute renal insufficiency, according to Quesada. “That is something that if it doesn’t get treated immediately, it is life-threatening,” he said.

Ms. Laferriere drove her husband two hours to Clínica Bíblica in San José. There Quesada had already arranged a kidney specialist to take Sanson into immediate surgery. Doctors were able to get his kidneys to function again. He spent three days at the hospital and was then able to return home again. After seeing his initial condition, doctors at Biblica were astonished at the fact that there would be no lingering health issues for Sanson.

“They were able to restart the kidneys, and they look like they’re not going to have any long-term effects,” he said.

Originally working with the Caja Costarricense de Seguro Social, Ms. Majera and Quesada started Ocean Medical Center in September 2012. The doctors try to see each patient for 40.

By Michael Krumholtz
of the A.M. Costa Rica staff

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