A medical report has questioned the “reckless” treatment of football legend Diego Maradona by his care team amid an ongoing manslaughter probe.
His death came shortly after he had undergone an operation to remove a clot from his brain, before he was allowed to leave hospital and move into a rented home close to Buenos Aires.
Since then a medical board have been examining the details of his passing, drawing on input from experts including a cardiologist, physiatrists and a toxicologist.
And their findings have concluded Maradona’s care team acted “inadequately, deficiently and recklessly” in the lead up to his death, which may have made all the difference to his chances of survival.
In particular, the report focuses on Maradona’s time living in rented accommodation where signs that his life was in danger were “ignored”.
The full report is now set to be passed on to state prosecutors, who launched an investigation into Maradona’s death following allegations of inadequate care.
Just days after his passing the home and offices of Maradona’s personal doctor, Leopoldo Luque, were searched.
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Luque is one of seven people now under investigation as part of the manslaughter probe, though he claims he has done nothing wrong and accused prosecutors of looking for a “scapegoat”.
Among it’s analysis, the report read: “He [Maradona] presented unequivocal signs of a prolonged agonising period, so we conclude that the patient was not properly monitored from 00:30 on 11/25/2020 [the day of his death].”
The report added: “Although it’s counterfactual to say that Maradona would not have died if he had been properly looked after in hospital, given his medical history in the days leading up to his death, we believe he would have had a greater chance of surviving.”
Maradona was due to be treated for dependency to alcohol and he had a long history of drug and alcohol addiction.
At the time of his death he had no traces of illegal drugs nor alcohol in his system, though there was signs of prescription drugs used to treat various conditions including depression and epilepsy.
He was also struggling with major problems to his heart, kidney and liver, and doctors noted previously that he was not in “full possession of his mental faculties” when first admitted to hospital over three weeks earlier.
It was his heart which was noted as the cause of his death in his initial post-mortem, as he suffered from dilated cardiomyopathy – an illness which weakens the heart muscle and affects its ability to pump blood round the body.
Prosecutors could upgrade their probe to a homicide case if they feel they have sufficient evidence, with possible sentences of up to 25 years for anyone found guilty.