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Rights activists: Iryna Danylovych has brain damage and possibly had a stroke

10.10.2023, 14:56
Photo: Iryna Danylovych on Facebook
Photo: Iryna Danylovych on Facebook

An independent analysis of the medical examination provided to the Crimean citizen journalist Iryna Danylovych, who has been imprisoned by Russia, revealed that she suffers from acute otitis media, has neurological disorders and brain damage, and may have suffered a stroke as well, reports the human rights organization ZMINA, citing the findings of independent experts.

The experts analyzed the medical documents and the results of the examinations that Irina had in Crimea following the pressure from human rights activists and lawyers. Danylovych's relatives were able to acquire these documents after she was moved to the Zelenokumsk prison in Russia.

Iryna Danylovych's medical record, medical history and analyses were reviewed by doctors affiliated with the human rights organization Physicians for Human Rights.

The findings were provided by an otolaryngologist and a neurologist. According to the data from the documents, Danylovych not only suffered through an acute otitis, but also has neurological disorders and brain damage.

For instance, the doctor examining Danylovych in April 2023 in Simferopol diagnosed her with tinnitus which occured as a result of acute otitis media.

Having studied this diagnosis by the documents, an independent otolaryngologist found that it "appears to be correct and corresponds to the examination data." However, the doctor noted that he was unable to verify if the information provided in the examinations was reliable.

According to the doctor, although a treatment was prescribed after the diagnosis, its effects were not assessed and there was no additional tests prescribed.

"In all cases, the treatment was prescribed immediately after the diagnosis – without delay. But after the treatment period, there was never a follow-up examination to assess the effects of the treatment and possibly continue with it," the doctor noted.

Therefore, the otolaryngologist advised to reevaluate the treatment regimen after a detailed MRI analysis and consultations with a neurologist.

Human rights activists remind that in addition to hearing issues, Iryna Danylovych complained of constant headaches and dizziness, and it has been reported that she fainted several times during her trips to court hearings in Crimea. In view of these complaints, she needed a consultation with a neurologist.

However, ZMINA notes, there is no neurological diagnosis in the medical documents – only the MRI findings: single non-specific foci in the brain, possibly of vascular origin.

Such an MRI picture may be caused by various disorders or pathologies in the brain; in particular, it could indicate a stroke. However, Crimean doctors did no additional studies that could point to the causes of the pathology. This is exactly what the independent expert neurologist paid attention to.

He opens his conclusion by remarking that the Crimean doctor to whom Iryna Danylovych was brought on April 18, 2023, did not describe the patient's neurological complaints when drawing up his findings.

According to the expert, the results of the MRI performed a week later, which was used to determine the area of damage to the white matter of the brain, were not sufficiently informative, either:

“The contents of the DWI and ADC images are not described, and it is unclear whether they were made, so we cannot conclude when the lesion began. The lesion spot is not indicated (except for the 'white matter of the brain'). The presumed etiology is described as vascular. There seems to be no evidence of additional pathology."

Therefore, the independent neurologist states that the information is lacking and making a clear conclusion from the available data is impossible.

At the end, the expert emphasized that "after establishing a diagnosis of a possible stroke, even if the described lesion does not necessarily have a direct connection to the patient's complaints, additional examinations should have been conducted", listing them. He stressed that aspirin and atorvastatin, which were not prescribed by the Crimean neurologist, are used in European and American drug treatment to minimize the chance of a repeated stroke.

For their part, the human rights activists assume that the acute otitis, which was not detected or treated in November 2022, turned into chronic otitis over time, which was also not treated.

As IMI reported, in August Iryna Danylovych's father said that she had lost all hearing in her left ear. He also said that when his daughter arrived at the Zelenokumsk prison, a medical officer confiscated her medication, remarking that the pain would go away when she "goes deaf."

On August 14, Iryna Danylovych's father said that she was being moved to a prison in Zelenokumsk, Stavropol region, Russia. According to him, his daughter still has not received the necessary treatment. While in the Simferopol pre-trial detention center, she complained of a severe headache caused by otitis media.

On June 29, 2023, it was reported that the Russian-backed Supreme Court of Crimea changed the ruling in the case of Iryna Danylovych, who had been previously sentenced to seven years in prison on charges of storing an explosive device.

Iryna Danylovych was detained on April 29, 2022, in the occupied Crimea. She was detained on her way from work on the road from Koktebel to Feodosia. Her house in Vladislavivka village was searched, her phone and laptop were seized.

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