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Are COVID Hospital Protocols Killing People? Ralph Marxen’s Story

Are COVID Hospital Protocols Killing People? Ralph Marxen’s Story

A hospital should be a hospital, not a prison. But Ralph Marxen’s experience was more like the latter than the former when he went in to Abbott Northwestern Hospital in Minneapolis on August 23, 2021, due to fatigue and dehydration after suffering an illness. Ralph had recently turned 70. He would never go home.

After a harsh, grueling, and at times nonsensical hospital treatment protocol, he died at 6:22 p.m. on September 7, 2021, less than an hour after receiving fentanyl, which can cause respiratory distress and death in high dosages, and the sedative midazolam.

Nicole Riggs, Ralph’s daughter, explained the full story to Intellectual Takeout and warned readers that the protocols she believed harmed her father are still in place in some hospitals.

The drama for Nicole and her family began when Ralph was having trouble standing and became dehydrated after he suffered an illness.

The family decided to call an ambulance. The ambulance crew said that Ralph’s oxygen level was 94, and they recommended he be taken to the hospital, though he was not suffering from any difficulty breathing at this point. He was taken to the ER and, from there, to the COVID unit at Abbott Northwestern.

At this point, he seemed to have experienced tachypnea (rapid respiration), possibly due to anxiety, although the medical records conflict on this point, with some stating that he had shortness of breath and others that he had no trouble breathing.

Either way, the hospital put him on oxygen immediately, even though this, according to a toxicologist who reviewed Ralph’s records at Nicole’s request, was not the proper treatment and could have made things worse. Nicole explained that this is part of standard hospital protocol—COVID patients are normally put on oxygen immediately.

A kidney specialist visited Ralph in the emergency room and, noting Ralph’s elevated kidney and liver numbers, directed that Ralph should not receive anything that could damage these organs, but this was disregarded later when Ralph was given remdesivir, a drug that is known to risk damaging the kidneys.

After being pressured to do so, Ralph reluctantly agreed to a COVID test, which came back positive. Remdesivir was prescribed immediately. “Then [his condition] was gradually just … starting to get worse and worse from that point on,” Nicole related.

Not long after, Nicole’s mother was also admitted to the hospital and placed in a room next to her husband’s. During her stay there, Nicole’s mother, who was eventually released from the hospital, found that an alarm went off if she tried to leave her bed (even if she needed to go to the bathroom), her door was locked, and she was not allowed to visit her husband. She was also given remdesivir as part of the standard COVID protocol, even though she never consented to that treatment.

Nicole said of her mother (who was also on high levels of oxygen in the hospital), post-treatment, “She’s never been the same. She gets out of breath easily. She’s not physically the way she was. … People say ‘long COVID.’ I think the medications that they give you damage your body.”

A number of times, Nicole and her family attempted to get the hospital to try non-protocol treatments, such as monoclonal antibodies, vitamin D, vitamin C, zinc, hydroxychloroquine, and ivermectin, but the hospital always refused.

The same held true when Nicole tried to get the hospital to stop administering drugs that she thought were harming her father, such as vancomycin, which can cause edema. Further, adverse effects of vancomycin can be exacerbated by reduced kidney function, which Ralph appears to have had. All these requests from Nicole were refused by the doctors and nurses. Requests for medical records were also denied until after Ralph had passed away.

On August 27, Ralph was moved to the ICU, and the hospital strongly promoted the use of a ventilator for him, though he did not want it. By this point, he hadn’t slept in two days and hadn’t eaten by mouth in five days, as Nicole told Alpha News in another interview.

He finally agreed to the ventilator, which may have been the final straw for him, given that most COVID patients placed on ventilators die, according to a study of patients in New York published in the Journal of the American Medical Association and reported on WebMD. In conjunction with the ventilator, Ralph received sedatives such that his body was basically not functioning, and he had to rely completely on the ventilator for respiration.

As Ralph entered his final hours, his family was at last allowed to see him, though they had to wear “spacesuit-like” protective gear in order to do so. The family gave permission for Ralph to be taken off the ventilator, and given that Ralph was nearing the end of his life, the hospital removed it. Ralph’s records show that, after this, he received doses of fentanyl and midazolam and then passed away within the hour. The final bill for his treatment was $1.284 million for 16 days of care.

In the aftermath of this tragedy, facing the stark reality of her and her family’s changed lives, Nicole scrutinized her father’s medical records, trying to put the pieces together. She found that Ralph had received over 50 medications during those 16 days, including narcotics that can make it harder to breathe, such as hydromorphone.

Nicole had a toxicologist, two doctors, and a nurse review the documents, and she says their consensus matches her own belief: It was not COVID but rather the hospital protocols of powerful drugs (including narcotics, sedatives, and paralytics), isolation, excessive oxygenation, and the ventilator that led to her father’s untimely death.

These treatments may have damaged Ralph’s lungs: While Ralph was still in the hospital, a doctor from the hospital told the family over the phone that Ralph’s lungs were completely dried out, like extremely chapped lips.

A doctor from Texas, Dr. Richard M. Fleming, has criticized the hospital COVID protocols as “not supported by science,” according to Alpha News. Abbott Northwestern never offered a scientific explanation to Nicole with regard to the treatment they gave her father. When Alpha News reached out to hospital authorities for comment, they offered merely a generic non-statement on the case.

Why would hospitals use ineffective, even damaging, treatments as part of their protocols for dealing with COVID-19? The answer remains uncertain, although claims continue to circulate that hospitals receive additional government payouts for diagnosing COVID and using certain FDA-approved treatments in COVID cases, at least for patients on Medicare (which Ralph was).

Whatever the reason, the phenomenon appears to be widespread. Nicole’s story is far from the only one of this kind—the COVID-19 Humanity Betrayal Memory Project has gathered evidence of hundreds of cases like Ralph’s and identified 25 commonalities in them, such as isolation of the patient, denial of alternative treatments, non-emergency ventilation, and discrimination against the unvaccinated (such as Ralph).

Despite the trauma of the experience, Nicole hasn’t allowed it to defeat her and instead has used it as a catalyst for action. She has become involved with a group that advocates for potential victims of COVID hospital protocols, COVID Justice MN.

After telling her story, Nicole said that, above all, she wants people to know that this kind of thing is still happening—people are still being admitted to hospitals, receiving these questionable COVID treatments, and, in some cases, dying. She advises caution when going to a hospital for illnesses that might result in a COVID test and bringing an advocate with you if you do go.

Attorneys connected to COVID Justice MN are preparing legal cases against a number of hospitals for wrongful deaths. Nicole believes she can’t keep silent in the face of these doubtful protocols, and she and COVID Justice are making themselves heard.

Image credit: Unsplash 

Walker Larson
Walker Larson

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  • Avatar
    March 18, 2024, 12:26 pm

    Thank you for covering this tragic story. Many Minnesota families have been devastated by hospital protocols that did not keep up with the science.

  • Avatar
    March 18, 2024, 3:21 pm

    A vaccine would have prevented this. He was old and high risk for complications of covid…

    • Avatar
      March 21, 2024, 9:34 pm

      You know full well that the vaccine did not prevent this disease, nor did it keep people from getting it multiple times.

  • Avatar
    Jeffrey Shaw
    March 18, 2024, 4:32 pm

    Covid was designed to reduce the population and destroy the bodily immune systems of those who were forced into vaccination. None of this had anything to do with science. indeed it was a corruption of the same and merely an exercise in power over the population. I now avoid US doctors and the practice of orthodox medicine, such as it is. I would not go to a hospital for anything but a broken bone – and then, only if someone is with me throughout the treatment process. I have taken a deep dive into the history of "Virology," and I suggest others do the same. Modern medicine is a charade.

  • Avatar
    March 18, 2024, 5:26 pm

    Once people become dedicated to a medical regime, especially one that is construed to be critical, REGARDLESS of how effective it is, would RATHER the patient DIE than admit the regime was a mistake…

  • Avatar
    March 18, 2024, 5:33 pm

    I am a believer/subscriber to the Great Barrington Declaration by way of introduction. I've also been working in healthcare for over 50 years. I need to say that this is one of the most irresponsible articles I've read on this topic. I won't go point by point. But suffice it to say this was at best simply the histrionic account of someone losing a loved one. I know the loss is tragic. But most of what is reported here as bad/dangerous therapy is nonsense. I wouldn't know where to start. And doubt it would make much of a difference. From bed alarms to locked doors to people dying on ventilators to medications that "can cause" certain adverse events. There is much speculation. Faulty reasoning. Ignorance (understandable to lay people). The JAMA article linked to support most COVID patients dying while on the ventilator is from April 2020! It was requoted by WebMD in 2022. And again in 2023. Toss those data out. But we do know that many very sick people who are put on ventilators die. Because they are very sick.
    I really wonder about the medical expertise and objectivity of the "toxicologist, two doctors, and a nurse" who reviewed this case. Unless they found more and different issues than in this article
    I am sorry for this family's loss. But it is hard to find fault from this article.
    Why is this article published now?
    But to answer the article title's question, "No".
    I will add that the comment from "pfizer" isn't from Pfizer. I suspect that is obvious.

    • Avatar
      March 21, 2024, 10:09 pm

      I am also a health care professional as is my spouse.
      Some of the points you make are reasonable, such as the fact that people who are put on ventilators are quite ill already. It is also a valid point that people unfamiliar with how medicine is practiced often misinterpret and/ or distort treatment as “harmful” after the trauma of a family member’s death.
      Unfortunately, the way in which COVID was handled from day one, particularly by bureaucrats and the press, destroyed whatever faith the general population (and many healthcare professionals) had in the medical establishment and the government’s ability to even discern the truth, let alone make it clear.
      Protocols in today’s practice have become rigidly enforced. Whether they are truly suited to every patient is quite questionable, but particularly in Medicare/ Medicaid patients medicine has become more cookie-cutter than finely tuned. Docs spend half their time with their backs to their patients, checking boxes on a computer, which may or may not have options to provide the most accurate information. Doctors who may have chosen to use any alternative treatment such as hydroxychloroquine or Ivermectin ( NOT a “horse pill” as the media clowns insisted) were literally prevented by the government to do so. If that doesn’t scare people, it definitely should. Cardiac side effects, particularly in young men and cytokine storms in athletes in particular were not widely publicized and have not been studied thoroughly enough.
      Even in cases unrelated to COVID, over -medication is a serious issue, particularly in older people. One cannot be a health care professional in this day and age and not recognize the incidence of lethal or near-lethal drug combinations given to patients by teams of providers who are too busy, too stressed, spread too thin and unable or unwilling to document and communicate their treatment regimen in light of the patient’s particular history.
      As we begin to truly reap the results of “Obamacare”, medicine is rapidly becoming one-size-fits-all as it rushes to some lowest-common-denominator of “equity.’ America , with the exception of our Congress who voted themselves exempt, will soon experience what it truly means when they hear “I’m from the government and I’m here to help.” Pray that person is not the Neurosurgeon you’ve waited six months to see.


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