Buenos Aires Times

argentina Débora Pérez Volpin

Legislator’s death during routine medical procedure shocks Argentina

Pérez Volpin died during an endoscopy at the private facility, Sanatorio La Trinidad in Palermo. Her cause of death has been reported as a heart failure.

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Débora Perez Volpin, 1967-2018.
Débora Perez Volpin, 1967-2018. Foto:José Tolomei

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Journalists, politicians, friends and family said their last goodbyes to Débora Pérez Volpin on Thursday during a wake held at the City Legislature.

Pérez Volpin, 50, died during a routine medical procedure on Tuesday.

Her death has rocked Argentines not just because of the journalist-cum-legistlator’s high profile but because of the nature of her death, which is being investigated as manslaughter.

Pérez Volpin died during an endoscopy at the private facility Sanatorio La Trinidad in Palermo. Her cause of death has been reported as a heart failure though final autopsy results are pending.

Nélida Inés Puente, the anaesthetist responsible for sedating the 50-year-old during Tuesday’s procedure, appeared voluntarily before the courts on Wednesday, represented by her lawyer.

“There was no error in the anaesthetic procedure”, lawyer Eduardo Gerome told the América24 news channel.

“Minutes after [the patient was sedated] she began showing a sharp drop in the saturation of oxygen, meaning she could not breath”, he said. Intensive care doctors and cardiologists then intervened to save her life, unsuccessfully, Gerome added.

Pérez Volpin’s family has confirmed that they will pursue the case in the courts, backed in spirit by her political mentor, the former ambassador to the United States, Martín Lousteau.

Pérez Volpin is well known in Argentina as the face of a number of Channel 13 news programmes. In 2017, she made the leap to politics and secured a seat in the City Legislature representing Lousteu's centrist liberal movement ECO.

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