Russian doctors demand probe into Covid-19 patient fall deaths

Russian doctors demand probe into Covid-19 patients jumping from high rise buildings after 101-year-old paratrooper becomes latest to fall to his death

  • Russia and Ukraine has seen a number of Covid-19 patients fall to their deaths
  • The latest, one of Russia’s oldest war heroes, had recently been discharged
  • Russian doctors are now calling for an investigation into the suicide cases  
  • They want to look into whether Covid-19 can cause neuropsychiatric disorders

Russian doctors have demanded a probe into Covid-19 patients jumping from high rise buildings after a 101-year-old paratrooper became the latest to fall to his death. 

The war hero, who had recently fought off coronavirus, jumped to his death from a high floor in Moscow.

Valery Severinov – born under Lenin’s rule two years after the Bolshevik Revolution – is the latest of dozens of Covid-19 sufferers to die or face injury in tragic falls from high rise buildings in Russia and Ukraine.

101-year-old Russian war veteran Valery Severinov (on of Russia’s oldest war heroes, pictured holding a picture of himself in his younger years as a paratrooper) is the latest of dozens of Covid-19 sufferers to die or face injury falling from high rise buildings in Russia and Ukraine

The Second World War veteran had made 119 jumps and was decorated for courage as he took part in defeating the Nazis in Budapest, Prague and Vienna.

Police are investigating his fall but reports say the hero had recently overcome coronavirus and likely remained on medication after he was sent home.

Experts in Russia and Ukraine have questioned whether something about Covid-19 – or medication used to treat it – has made patients with no known suicidal inclinations jump from rise buildings including hospitals.

Russian city Novosibirsk has seen four recent cases involving coronavirus sufferers, none of whom had been earlier registered with psychiatrists.

One was a sportswoman, 38, whose friends believe she was ‘half-delirious’ with multiple medications when she fell from a high rise hospital window, and another was a retired policeman.

Russia has seen at least seven further cases since August.

Before this well-publicised cases saw the death of police lieutenant-colonel Natalya Shcherbakova, 45, after a 50 feet hospital fall and Dr Natalya Lebedeva, 48, who plunged 60 feet in a fatal incident.

In Shcherbakova’s case, the family were told that she had been treated with the antibiotic Levofloxacin.

The powerful antibiotic can be used to treat pneumonia, but in rare cases can interfere with the nervous system and cause serious psychological side effects.

These can include hallucinations, paranoia, anxiety and suicidal thoughts.

Police lieutenant-colonel Natalya Shcherbakova, 45, died after a 50ft fall from a window at a hospital in May 2020. Russian doctors have called for an investigation into how and why so many Covid-19 sufferers are falling to their deaths

It is not known if other hospital window victims were treated with this same drug. 

Dr Yelena Nepomnyashchaya, 47, a mother of two from a medical family, sustained fatal injuries after falling 50ft from a window at her Krasnoyarsk hospital.

She fell soon after complaining of an ‘acute shortage’ of PPE and died on 1 May, the only one of the victims who was not known to be suffering from coronavirus.

Dr Lebedeva was hospitalised with Covid-19 when she plunged 60ft to her death on 24 April after she was ‘unfairly blamed’ for the spread of coronavirus at her clinic in Star City, near Moscow, the training centre for cosmonauts. 

Yelena Nepomnyashchaya, 47, fell to hear death in May after complaining of an ‘acute shortage’ of PPE

Left: Medic Alexander Shulepov, 37, suffered skull fractures after falling from a second floor window. Star City doctor Natalya Lebedeva, died aged 48 after falling 60 feet from a window

Another medic Dr Alexander Shulepov, 37, plunged from a second floor window sustaining skull fractures.

In June, Nadezhda Salkova, 74, fell from a fourth floor window of Semashko Hospital in Moscow where she was being treated for coronavirus.

Ukraine has seen at least seven cases since October of patients jumping from Covid-19 hospital windows.

Among them was Oleg Basilayshvili, a respected paediatrician, aged 40, who like the war hero had been recently discharged from a Covid-19 hospital, fell to his death.

Respected paediatrician Dr Oleg Basilayshvili had been recently discharged from hospital when he fell to his death

Some hospitals have bolted windows or removed handles because of a perceived risk of patients jumping in a ‘wave of Covid-19 suicides’.

There have been, too, an unspecified number of hospital ‘suicides’ of Covid patients not involving window jumps in both countries.

A Novosibirsk man, 42, cut his veins after messaging his family in delirium saying: ‘I am telling you all Covid-19 patients are getting killed, they are coming after me next.’

He died in the same hospital that another patient had jumped to his death three days earlier.

In Moscow, pilot Ruslan Valeyev, 28, broke out of his coronavirus hospital and climbed a metal fence fatally injuring himself. 

Pilot Ruslan Valeyev, 28, fatally injured himself climbing a metal fence after he broke out of hospital in Moscow

Like others he was described as ‘delirious’ either from his medication or the virus.

Russian virus expert Professor Alexander Chepurnov – who has twice contacted Covid-19 – said: ‘There is no evidence that coronavirus is neurotropic (capable of infecting nerve cells).

‘There is evidence, however, that it damages the brain, which might change the perception of reality and cause hallucinations.

‘Now we are speaking about a need for not only recovery of lungs, but nerve tissues, for people who have been through Covid-19.’

Respected Ukrainian cardiologist Professor Kateryna Amosova, one of her country’s most senior medics, has demanded an investigation into such deaths.

She asked: ‘Why do Covid-19 patients commit suicides in hospitals?

Respected Ukrainian cardiologist Professor Kateryna Amosova, one of her country’s most senior medics, has demanded an investigation into such deaths

‘During 25 years of work in Central Kyiv hospital myself and my husband (also a medic) have witnessed three cases of patients committing suicide by jumping out of windows.’

Now she has noted four such deaths within one month which ‘definitely requires analyses of medical aspects’.

She said: ‘Let’s start from asking ourselves if Covid-19 causes neuropsychiatric disorders, and what kind?

‘The answer is yet it does, both acute and chronic, from delirium and depression to prolonged feeling of a ‘foggy head’ and weakness as a post-Covid syndrome, and this is the manifestation of the multi-system effect of its pathogen on the body.’

Another senior Ukrainian medic Professor Vladimir Korsunov warned of a trend of Covid-19 patients exhibiting suicidal traits.

‘They try to either jump out of the window, or seek an overdose of pills,’ he said.

‘It’s happening all over the world, and no-one know what to do with it. There is no solution yet.

‘In a different situation there should be high-quality monitoring of patients, but in our country this is impossible.

‘Perhaps we should install bars in windows, or get help from psychiatrists who are not usually involved in working with patients in our infectious hospitals.

‘Or to use antidepressants, yet they don’t help everyone.’

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