T&T launches probe into pregnancy deaths of Guyanese, two others at Sando Hospital

(Trinidad Express) Minister of Health Dr Fuad Khan has instructed that a panel be set up to investigate the death of a pregnant woman at the San Fernando General Hospital.

Feeza Dalana

She has become the third expectant mother to die at the institution over the last month.

The 29-year-old woman died around 11.30 a.m. on Saturday after being admitted to the High Dependency Unit at the San Fernando General Hospital.

Chairman of the South West Regional Health Authority (SWRHA) Dr Lackram Bodoe made the announcement during a press conference at the doctors lounge of the hospital on Saturday afternoon.

The woman was not identified by the hospital’s administration.

“Our findings so far suggest that all protocols and procedures were followed, however, as a precaution and on the direction of the Minster of Health, SWRHA has found it fit, in addition to our normal investigations, to appoint a special team to actually audit these cases… to ensure, in the public interest and also in the interest of best practice from our doctors’ point of view, that all necessary procedures and protocols have been followed and it is in this light that the Minister of Health has directed that we form this special committee,” Bodoe said.

Bodoe said the deaths of Feeza Dalana and Shara Mohammed will also be probed.

Dalana, a Guyanese national, died on August 31 from haemorrhage after giving birth to her daughter and Mohammed died at her home two weeks after the September 11 delivery of her ninth child.

A post-mortem showed that Mohammed died after a blot clot travelled to her lung and caused a pulmonary embolism, Bodoe said.

He said that last week’s death of Sherry Ann Jones’ baby will also come under review.

Jones survived but the baby died in her womb.

In the latest death, the 29-year-old pregnant mother was admitted to the High Dependency Unit and died at 11.30 a.m.

“This morning a patient was referred to us by the area hospital in Point Fortin. She was 32 weeks pregnant, she has a history of epilepsy in pregnancy. She was referred to us with what was termed abnormal behaviour. There is a condition called psychosis in pregnancy which sometimes may not be related to the pregnancy itself. We are still, of course, awaiting results of further investigation in this death. A post mortem is yet to be carried out but from my understanding, based on preliminary reports from doctors involved in the care of this patient, it would seem that the death, so far, may be unrelated to the pregnancy,” Bodoe said.

He said on the recommendation of the Minister of Health Fuad Khan, a team will still be appointed to investigate this and the other cases.

“(It is) going to be initially members from the hospital but outside of the department of obstetrics and gynaecology,” Bodoe said.

“If this internal review which is always the normal standard, if this report comes to the board and if it is the board is not satisfied and not happy or has cause to believe that protocols were not followed or anything that was supposed to be done was not done the report goes to the Ministry of Health which oversees the RHAs (Regional Health Authorities) and in that case an independent panel is appointed to investigate further,” Bodoe said.

This was the case following the death of Chrystal Boodoo-Ramsoomair.

Boodoo-Ramsoomair, 29, died in March after a Caesarean section.

An independent panel was appointed by the Attorney General and he later advised that the SWRHA accept and admit liability for medical negligence. Acting chief executive officer Anil Gosine on Saturday said 18 recommendations were given to the hospital following Boodoo-Ramsoomair’s death and to date, “about 12? have been fulfilled.

“Coming out of that report, we were given $3.5 million from the Ministry of Health to procure equipment which we have already started procuring,” Gosine said.

Bodoe assured members of the public that the hospital is still a safe place to be admitted and there is no cause for alarm as during the year between 6,000 to 7,000 deliveries are done at the hospital.

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