Death of Goed Fortuin boy triggers ministry probe

Top officials of the Ministry of Health have committed to investigating the sudden death of 15-year-old Shemar Miggins  on Saturday after being hospitalized three days earlier for a fish bone puncture of his left foot.

Miggins of Goed Fortuin, West Bank Demerara died around 14:00 hrs on Saturday at the West Demerara Regional Hospital (WDRH).

A report from the Government Information Agency yesterday called the circumstances of the child’s death “controversial” and Minister of Health Dr. Bheri Ramsaran has dispatched Chief Medical Officer (CMO) Dr. Shamdeo Persaud and Dr. V. Brijmohan, Head, WDRH Medical Staff and other officials from Region Three to the institution with a view to launching an investigation into the matter.  According to the release, staff at the hospital made several attempts to resuscitate Shemar but these were unsuccessful. The CMO has ordered a Post Mortem Examination (PME) and this will be performed today.

Shemar Miggins
Shemar Miggins

Minister Ramsaran subsequently met with the grieving mother and an uncle of the dead boy, Clyde Anderson. The Minister said that the Ministry is committed to fully supporting the grieving family. He undertook to have a full, expeditious investigation into the incident.

“The Minister said that it was particularly distressing to have a preventable death occurring at the West Demerara Regional Hospital at this time since the MOH and the Institution over the past several months have been doing the very best to improve services and the hospital’s image,” GINA said in the release.

Speaking to this newspaper, the boy’s mother Gillian Anderson yesterday told Stabroek News that it was on New Year’s Day that her son Shemar got stuck with a fish bone while near the home close to a sluice. She said that the next day he was taken to the WDRH where he was given medications and sent home. “He used it and it did not work and he had to go back to the hospital,” the mother recounted.

She said that he was taken back to the hospital on January 9 and that he was put on antibiotics and he was getting better. She said that on the day that he died she went to take lunch for him and when she got there he was in the hospital bed playing games on his phone.

The women recounted that it was while she was downstairs at the hospital she saw a doctor and nurses running up to the ward. An aunt of the boy, Patricia Morrison said that she got a call saying that he had passed out and when she got to the ward he was being resuscitated.

She said what happened in the following moments was a comedy of errors, from oxygen being absent in the ward to there being no electrical outlet to power a needed piece of medical equipment. Morrison said that despite the efforts to revive the boy he died.

The West Demerara hospital has been severely criticized in recent months on a variety of matters.

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