Horse Gulch Blog

Watchdogging for the greater Durango area

6 Jan 2021

Death certificate falsified with COVID-contribution claim

Posted by Adam Howell


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A Durango doctor falsified the death certificate of a woman by writing that a significant condition that contributed to her death in the nursing home where she was living at was COVID.

A death certificate was falsified by Dr. Nancy Kitson, of Four Corners Health Care Center.To the contrary, an autopsy that was done before the death certificate was written clarified that her death was not caused by COVID, but instead by urosepsis, a urinary tract infection that was exacerbated by dementia.

Nina Marion Mischker, 97, passed away while she was staying in the dementia unit of Four Corners Health Care Center on 12/15/2020.

Alas, the family’s request to have the death certificate corrected without COVID on there was denied by her physician, said Ryan Phelps of Hood Mortuary.

Doctor Nancy Ellen Kitson, a physician who works for Four Corners Health Care Center, signed the death certificate. Alarmingly, she refused to speak with the family after requesting her to correct the inaccurate death certificate, the Mischkers said.

Dr. Kitson also failed to reply to my request for her to comment for this story that I left for her at Four Corners Health Care Center.

Particlarly concerning to the family is one false statement in the death certificate. Specifically, what’s wrong is Part 2 of the Cause of Death section where it states that “a significant condition contributing to the death, but not resulting in the underlying cause of the death listed in Part 1” was:

“RECENTLY HAD A COVID POSITIVE TEST RESULT”

Dr Michael Arnall, a forensic pathologist, told Dr Kitson what the cause of death was following his autopsy of Mischker, he said.

After receiving that information, Dr Kitson falsified the death certificate.

Family’s skepticism of grandmother’s treatment and death leads to autopsy request

In order to clarify the true cause of Nina’s death, Erik paid Dr. Arnall to do the autopsy, as was evident from a receipt that he shared with me.

Nina Mischker's death certificate was falsified

Nina Mischker, pictured above, had a physician who falsified her death certificate.

As a result, Dr Arnall brought the real cause of Nina’s death to light, only for the physician to misreport it.

“The only major news I gave to the doctor probably was, (A) there is a urinary tract infection and the second big piece of news I gave her was that the lungs look great, and I can assure you there is no pneumonia,” said Dr. Arnall.

“In fact the lungs were quite healthy. The other big problem that coronavirus causes is blood clots. You know throwing a clot to your lung or clotting off one of your big arteries, and I did not see any evidence of that. So the big question was what about coronavirus? And the answer is no. The problem was caused by not a virus, but a bacteria. And that bacteria was in the urinary bladder,” said Dr. Arnall. “Those are the big headlines in this case.”

Falsified death certificate violates Colorado’s Medical Practice Act

In this case, Dr. Kitson falsified Part 2 of the death certificate, and she knew that her COVID claim was false when she wrote it. That’s because Dr. Arnall, who did the autopsy, had told her the real causes of death before Dr. Kitson wrote the death certificate, he said.

Moreover, a death certificate should be truthful even if the deceased tested positive for COVID within 30 days of dying.

For Dr. Kitson, falsifying Nina’s record appears to be unprofessional conduct that’s prohibited by Colorado statute, according to Section 12-240-121 of the Medical Practice Act (page 24 of 48).

“(II) In determining which activities and practices are not consistent with the standard of
care or are contrary to recognized standards of the practice of medicine, the board shall utilize, in
addition to its own expertise, the standards developed by recognized and established
accreditation or review organizations that meet requirements established by the board by rule.
The determinations shall include but need not be limited to appropriate ordering of laboratory
tests and studies, appropriate ordering of diagnostic tests and studies, appropriate treatment of
the medical condition under review, appropriate use of consultations or referrals in patient care,
and appropriate creation and maintenance of patient records.
(v) Falsifying or repeatedly making incorrect essential entries or repeatedly failing to
make essential entries on patient records;,” says the section on Unprofessional Conduct in the Medical Practice Act.

Falsified death certificate, Nina Mischker, Four Corners Health Care Center

Grandson requests a correction on the death certificate

Erik Mischker, the grandson, asked Four Corners Health Care Center Administrator Christy Ludwig to take COVID off of Nina Mischker’s death certificate. Luckily, the family shared a voice recording of their phone call with Ludwig.

Ludwig apologized to him and said that she would have to call San Juan Basin Health Department to ask them how to do that.

“This has gone nation wide. Even though they’re not dying of COVID, if they’ve had that positive test, they still list it. By law they have to. I don’t know how we can take it off of there,” said Ludwig.

Ludwig talked to the family about the residents at the nursing home who had tested positive. It is up to the State of Colorado to decide what goes on the death certificates, Ludwig said.

“There are several residents that had no signs or symptoms and came back positive. And I mean that’s not unheard of for somebody to have no signs or symptoms but we’re going off of what the test comes back as, because we’re supposed to rely on those tests,” Ludwig said.

“This has been going on that whole time everywhere that they’re listing people as cause of death COVID when that wasn’t necessarily the case to begin with,” said Ludwig.

Ludwig failed to reply to my request for an interview.



Unidentified individual at the Colorado State Emergency Operations Center reply about death certificate:

A spokesperson for the Colorado State Joint Information Center wrote to me about who edits death certificates.

“CDPHE does not have influence over what goes on death certificates. The main death data that are available are (1) vital records data, and (2) epidemiological monitoring data.

Vital records uses data from death certificates. Coroners and medical examiners determine what goes on death certificates. The vital records statistics represent deaths caused by the virus. The data is coded by the CDC and directly corresponds with data on the National Center for Health Statistics website (https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/nvss/covid-19.htm).

Epidemiological monitoring data is broader– and is intended to provide quick monitoring of disease spread. It includes deaths among cases of COVID-19, meaning deaths that aren’t necessarily caused by COVID-19. It’s correct that if a person passes within 30 days of a positive test then they are counted as a death among COVID-19 cases.

The vital records data and epidemiological monitoring data are separate and are not reliant on one another.”

The CDC failed to respond to questions that I sent them for this story.

More specifically, the official Form To Correct A Colorado Death Certificate requires that any changes that are made to the certificate be signed off by a physician and/or coroner.

COVID cause of death fable among several others in La Plata, Montezuma and Grand County

The falsification of Mischker’s death certificate resembled other misreported deaths in La Plata County, Montezuma County and Grand County. The other cases of misreporting by the State were people who had died for reasons that were unrelated to COVID-19.

In May of 2020, an 80-year-old man who was the first alleged COVID-19 fatality in La Plata County had in fact died of congestive hear failure, according to La Plata County Coroner Jann Smith. However, the novel coronavirus did not kill him, Smith said, even though the state initially said that it did.

Another case of misreporting occurred in Montezuma County where a man who died of alcohol poisoning was counted as a COVID-19 death by the State, according to Montezuma County Coroner George Deavers.

“I had a suicide two weeks ago. The guy had COVID. Actually he was about 17, 18 days into it. He fell; went to the hospital just for a check up to make sure he wasn’t hurt. They tested him, he was negative for COVID. He was asymptomatic; he never had any symptoms for COVID. And then the next morning he shot himself, and the state listed him as a death from COVID,” said Deavers.

“I had another lady at a nursing home that tested positive for COVID. She had afib, which is an irregular heart rhythm. And she was on blood thinners. Well she had a fall, and she hit her head and she obtained a subdural hematoma. And she died from a bleed in the brain, and they listed that one as a COVID death,” Deavers said.

Overall, the misreporting raises questions about the credibility of all the other alleged deaths due to COVID or among COVID cases.


Fun facts about deaths due to COVID-19

How many autopsies determined COVID to be the cause of death?

“I’ve had, I guess, four cases down here in this neck of the woods,” Dr. Arnall said.

Me: When you’re doing an autopsy is there any way to distinguish the difference between coronavirus and an influenza?

“Nope, not that I’ve ever heard of,” said Dr. Arnall. “If you read one of the cases where I cite it out, what you’re going to see is I cite it out as viral pneumonia consistent with coronavirus. What I’m saying is if it’s a viral pneumonia, it’s probably coronavirus, but it could be another virus, as well.”

“One of the things we say in medical school is ‘if you hear hoof beats, don’t be thinking it’s zebras, because we don’t got zebras here in the United States, what we’ve got is horses. And by that I mean this: Right now what we have is an epidemic of coronavirus.”

“So if I were to see a bunch of fluid coming out of the lungs a year ago, I’d said, well the most common thing, a year ago would probably be an influenza pneumonia. But in 2020, if I see a bunch of fluid coming out of the airways, and that lung is real stiff, I’m going, well, it probably is coronovirus, because that’s what’s happening right now.”

“But to verify that, I would look under the microscope, and I have seen several cases of what I recognize as a viral pneumonia. Viral pneumonias under a standard-light microscope don’t look like bacterial pneumonias. They look different.”

“But if there is something that looks like a viral pneumonia, in 2020 in the lungs, I’m going to tell you the most likely explanation is coronavirus. The tests we’re doing right now are not terribly reliable, so if I see a viral pneumonia in 2020 I’m probably going to tell you it’s likely to be a coronavirus whether the test was positive or negative. We have a saying that is ‘common things happen commonly’. And right now what’s common is coronavirus.”

About the author

Adam Howell is an unaffiliated voter and writer who believes in the importance of upholding the constitution. He can be reached with feedback by clicking on this link to the contact page.



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2 Responses to “Death certificate falsified with COVID-contribution claim”

  1. Hi Adam,
    Met you a few years ago when we were looking to rid the sodium flouride from our water plant. You were THE guy who went on the water treatment plant tour here and reported on the poison being added to our drinking water and where it came from.
    So great to see you are continuing the good fight. You, sir, are a true and bona fide journalist….covering stories that important and asking the questions we want and need to ask.
    Please don’t stop, as you are the ONLY beacon of truth in reporting we have.

    Thank you!

     

    Julie Prugh

  2. Hello Julie,
    Long time no see! Thank you for your kind words about my reporting.

    Hope to see you again soon to see how you’re doing in this hysterical day and age.

    Adam

     

    Adam Howell

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