Doctors: Lembergs urgently needs the help of a surgeon

Doctors Pēteris Apinis and Gundars Daudze agree that Aivars Lembergs urgently needs consultation from an operating surgeon, which he can't access while in custody in Riga Central Prison.
17.11.2021. Uldis Dreiblats, Ritums Rozenbergs
Doctors Pēteris Apinis (pictured left) and Gundars Daudze agree: in case of a hernia, urgent medical help is needed; it can become life-threatening, so it must be operated on. The manner and methods of doing this should be determined by the operating surgeon ©F64

As the portal wrote yesterday, the main body responsible for what is happening to A. Lembergs, the Riga Regional Court, has rejected the request of A. Lembergs' defense to replace arrest as a security measure with house arrest.

Such a request was made because A. Lembergs' health has been deteriorating rapidly. Since September, A. Lembergs has been suffering from pain caused by a hernia, as well as from other issues that have progressed in prison conditions. As the Latvian Prison Hospital in Olaine does not practice hernia surgery, he does not have access to appropriate medical care. Doctors, in their turn, believe that in case of a hernia, the emergency medical care guaranteed by the Constitution is necessary, otherwise, the intestines of the patient may start to die, followed by a fatal outcome.

Consultation with an experienced surgeon is required

P.Apinis, the long-time president of the Medical Association and currently the editor-in-chief of the magazine Latvijas Ārsts, explained: "Hernia demands emergency care because it has to be operated on. We do not know what it is like in Lembergs' case. This should be evaluated by a specialist surgeon. At the moment, it is important for him (Lembergs) to get to an experienced surgeon who can evaluate it. That is the most important thing at the moment. Once a prison doctor has determined that he has a hernia, an urgent consultation with an operating surgeon is required, who decides on the scope and type of surgery.”

Asked if it was possible to receive such qualified advice in prison conditions, P. Apinis replied: “I have not been to prison and therefore I do not know my prison colleagues. However, if we know that the Prison Hospital is not currently performing this surgery, then Lembergs should be taken to a doctor who does perform it. There are several hospitals in Riga where hernia surgery is performed. As the number of people with Covid-19 is decreasing, I do not see any reason why he should not be taken to, for example, Riga 1st Hospital. I hope that the Covid crisis will end in the next two weeks, and I see no reason why he should not be operated on in one of Riga's hospitals. I have not seen any patient run away from the operating table.”

Hernia must be operated on in a timely manner

G.Daudze, the former chief physician of Ventspils Hospital, said similarly: “Hernia has to be operated on. It can become trapped and then intestinal necrosis develops. In that case, it will be necessary to perform the operation urgently. In the worst case, intestinal necrosis develops. Bowel resection must then be performed. That is already a very serious situation and it's difficult to predict how it'll end. In the standard situation, this does not happen, provided that the hernia is removed in time. It needs to be operated on because it will get stuck sooner or later. If it gets stuck, the question is whether it will reduce or develop intestinal necrosis. The latter is the most dangerous, and that is why a hernia must be operated on. Article 111 of the Constitution stipulates that the state protects human health and guarantees a minimum of medical assistance to everyone. If medical assistance is not provided in such cases, then it will be a clear violation of the Constitution.”


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