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El Paso hospitals screening migrant children after recent deaths of children in BP custody

The US Border Patrol has ordered a full medical review of all children in its custody after two Guatemalan children died while detained.

El Paso area hospitals are working with immigration authorities screen all the children’s health.

The Border Patrol has around 1,000 children in its custody across the El Paso Sector, across West Texas and Southern New Mexico.

The Border Regional Advisory Council is coordinating with Border Patrol to have every child in the region checked by a doctor. The medical review comes after two Guatemalan children died in Border Patrol custody, both apparently developing symptoms after being detained.

The agency reports the number of children to the Border RAC who then coordinates who goes where. With sixteen hospitals in El Paso helping run the screenings, more than 570 children have been screened this week.

“We’ve created communication systems between the Border Patrol and the facilities, so we know where the migrants are that are being assessed at the time, and we can decide whether or not to choose that same facility, or a different facility for the next migrant, or the next group of migrants that need to be evaluated,” said Wanda Helgesen, Executive Director of the Border RAC.

Helgesen told ABC-7 there have been cases of the cold and flu, but nothing beyond numbers found in the general population.

She explained the new screenings are not unlike one goes through in a standard checkup.

“They’ll ask questions about any illnesses you;ve had or any injury that you might have. They’ll do a general physical assessment, and then they will move to medically examine any particular complaints that those individuals might have. It could include lab work it could include x rays, it just depends,” Helgesen said.

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