-c-section had been recommended
A Bagotville, West Bank Demerara mother is calling on the authorities to investigate the death of her 21-year old daughter after giving birth at the West Demerara Regional Hospital (WDRH) yesterday.
Tushana Cameron, of Lot 111 Bagotville died mid-morning yesterday after doctors decided to induce labour although it had been recommended that she undergo a caesarean-section. It has been reported that she bled to death. The baby girl she delivered, who appeared healthy, is expected to be discharged from the hospital today.
According to Shellon Cameron, her daughter was taken to the WDRH on Tuesday night, after experiencing labour pains. She had been expected to give birth at anytime “because she reach the nine months,” she said.
At the hospital, she and other relatives informed the nurses that Tushana was diabetic and that the La Grange Health Centre, where she had been attending clinics, had advised that she deliver by caesarean-section, since “the baby was too big and she suffering from diabetes.”
Cameron said she eventually left her daughter in the care of the nurses but kept regular contact with her by phone. Tushana called her around 4 am yesterday and told her that she was in severe pain. The nurses advised that she was “dilating slowly” and that she had attained more than 4 centimetres at the time.
An hour later, Tushana called again and reported that the pains were unbearable, Cameron said. “She telling me over and over to beg them to let them cut her,” she recounted, adding that at around 6 am, she visited the hospital and asked “the unruly nurses they got there” to transfer her daughter to the Georgetown Public Hospital (GPH), since she was losing confidence in WDRH staff.
The request was denied and after a while Cameron managed to speak with a doctor. He informed that Tushana was capable of a normal delivery and that he was going to induce labour. She added that the nurses then told her to leave the labour room and the baby was born around 7 am.
She said she left the hospital soon after to go to her work place at the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sport and she did speak with Tushana sometime after the delivery. “Like she want tell me something, but I didn’t hearing she on the phone properly,” she said, adding that she became worried after calling her daughter’s phone repeatedly but received no response. “I said something wrong to me daughter and a patient or somebody called back and said that the doctor wanted to speak to me or the baby father,” she added, noting that another person, whom she believed was a nurse, took the phone and rudely stated that a relative was needed at the hospital as a decision needed to be made as regards removing the young woman’s uterus, since the afterbirth was stuck in her.
Ryan Toussaint, the father of Tushana’s baby, went to the hospital and awaited word from the medical staff on her condition.
At around 10:30am, the doctors, a Guyanese and a Cuban, came out of the room and asked that a close relative or the baby’s father accompany them into the room. “Ryan go in and then we see he come out with he face fall down… he said she dead,” a cousin of the dead woman recounted.
Toussaint said that the two doctors explained that “she afterbirth stick up in she and she start haemorrhaging and it get too much and she bleed to death.” In shock, he said that he looked on helplessly, while one of the doctors was holding his head in his hands and the other told him that whatever help he needed the authorities would provide.
“I got to get some justice for this because they caused my child to die,” Cameron said. “My daughter went to clinic every day… she is a diabetic and the health centre advised she that they need to cut her but look what happen… Tushana did it all but we didn’t expect to lose she,” the tearful woman recounted.
This newspaper understands that the hospital staff was managing another delivery along with Cameron’s yesterday morning. Sources noted last evening that the other patient was subsequently transferred to the GPH.
A number of maternity deaths have occurred this year, the most recent being that of 21-year old Immigration Officer Omadara Anthony, of Calcutta, Mahaicony at the GPH on August 8, while undergoing a caesarean-section for the delivery of her first child.
For the year, there have been nine maternal deaths and 41 stillbirths. The Health Ministry was criticised in 2010 when there was a staggering 25 maternal deaths. This prompted the then government and ministry to implement measures as a means of bringing the numbers down. In 2011 it decreased as 14 maternal deaths were reported. The relatively high incidence of the maternity-related deaths over the past three years has raised concerns about that quality of health care in the various institutions the women came into contact with.
Chief Medical Officer (CMO) Dr Shamdeo Persaud told this newspaper during an interview earlier this year that the findings on some of the maternal deaths in 2012 have indicated that there was laxity on the part of doctors as patients were not managed according to protocol.
A report this year stated that the WDRH is the only public facility providing basic Emergency Obstetric and Newborn Care (EmONC) and recommended the upgrade of government-run hospitals performing deliveries in order to boost maternal and newborn care. It noted that according to internationally-accepted standards, Guyana does not have an adequate number of EmONC facilities, and that owing to logistics access to appropriate levels of care can be difficult.