Saturday, March 8, 2014

Commentary: Disturbing details on death of a baby during C-section procedure

The only good news coming out of the weekend death of a baby during a C-section at the Mount Hope Maternity Hospital is that there is going to be an independent investigation to determine what happened. 

So far the doctor who performed the surgery has been suspended but the authorities have done nothing about the senior doctor who should have been present to supervise the procedure. 

We hope the doctor doesn't become the fall guy who must take the blame for all  who failed in their responsibility to the couple who lost their child due to what appears to be negligence and an attempt to cover up what really happened.

The tragic incident happened on Carnival Saturday. Emil Millington took his wife Quelly Ann Cottle to the hospital last Saturday to have a Caesarian-section operation performed.

C-Sections are supposed to be routine procedures that doctors perform every day but if the media reports are accurate what happened at that hospital was anything but routine. 
In fact it was negligence followed by an attempt to cover up what happened by destroying the evidence.

The reporter who covered the story was emotionally moved by what happened and expressed her thoughts in a Facebook post. 

"It was heartbreaking to interview a father whose baby died during a cesarean surgery. Preliminary autopsy found the baby's head was sliced open and cut deep into the brain area," Anna Ramdass wrote.

But there was more than the negligence that led to the baby's death. According to Millington the hospital staff wanted to immediately cremate the dead infant without letting the parents see him. He said he refused to agree to that. "I told her (his wife) do not sign any papers; I am not giving any permission for that,” he told the Express.

Millington said hospital personnel also told him he could not see his baby and it would take some 30 days to process documents coming from an autopsy. Then personnel at Mt. Hope told him baby's body was sent to the Port of Spain General Hospital, the Express reported. 

He said hospital personnel showed no concern for him and his loss and demanded some answers. "I would like to know what happened, and I believe that the doctor who performed that operation should be subject to some kind of disciplinary action. I want the Health Minister, anyone in authority, to please intervene and tell us what happened,” Millington told the Express.

The hospital administrators acted swiftly and suspended the doctor but there is much more to this incident than the young doctor who performed the procedure without the supervision of a the senior consultant who was supposed to be present. 

This is not the first time we have seen negligence under similar circumstances. There is the case of Crystal Ramsumair who died at the San Fernando General Hospital from excessive bleeding following a C-Section.

Editorial: Why did Crystal have to die?

There was also the case of Sasha Bisnath who had a C-Section at a private hospital and was transferred to the San Fernando hospital following complications, where she died.

Read the story:
Woman dies after C-section performed at private hospital 

This latest case is disturbing because of the horror of what happened and also because of clear attempts to cover up by destroying the evidence before anyone could investigate.

It is clear that what should have been a simple and very routine matter turned into a tragedy for a family that put its faith in a medical system that failed to act professionally and responsibly.

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Jai & Sero

Jai & Sero

Our family at home in Toronto 2008

Our family at home in Toronto 2008
Amit, Heather, Fuzz, Aj, Jiv, Shiva, Rampa, Sero, Jai