Nurses at the Georgetown Public Hospital (GPH) are under investigation for their treatment of an expectant mother, who lost her baby during labour at the facility.
Eslyn Wangija, a 32-year-old mother of one said that the nurses repeatedly ignored the fact that she was described as a high risk pregnancy case on her antenatal clinic card and meted out the worst possible treatment to her during labour.
“I will not treat my dog puppy the way they treated me… it was one particular nurse, she ignored my pleas for help and that I was in labour, had a C-section for my first child and that their own hospital clinic listed me as a high risk case… In the end, I lost my daughter [who] was in good health up to the time of delivery,” the woman said.
Wangija told Stabroek News that to date, no one from the GPH has made contact with her about the loss of her baby.
When contacted, GPH Public Relations Officer Mitzy Campbell said that the hospital was investigating the case.
As she spoke of the nightmare experience Wangija explained that her due date was given as July 25th. However, she noted that with her first child, now six years old, she never experienced any labour pains and had undergone a caesarean-section.
“My daughter, I knew she would be caesarean. The doctors then told me that this was what to expect. This time was no different. I was listed as high risk on my card. I told the nurses that I think I will have to undergo caesarean again because the doctor had told me that sometimes mothers make one baby C-section but another normal and they should monitor me from the onset of labour to know which, and to know early,” she said.
“I felt no pain. On the 23rd my water bag started leaking and I had this sharp, like wind pain in my stomach. It wasn’t like painful. More like uncomfortable. So, I told my husband and we went to the hospital. They said it was nothing and I was not in labour and I was sent home,” she added.
The 25th of July passed and Wangija felt minor pains but two days after came an intense pain and once again the leaking amniotic fluid. She was rushed to the hospital, examined by a nurse and was told that she was not yet ready for delivery. She returned home once again but on August 2nd when she felt that she couldn’t take the pain any longer, she went back to the hospital determined that her baby will be born naturally or by c- section.
She said when she told the nurses of the leaking fluids and intense pains, she was checked as per routine but was told “you ain’t ready yet.” She was also given oxygen.
A nurse, who the woman assumed was a foreign volunteer, saw her in intense pain and took her for an ultrasound, subsequently confirming that her amniotic sac had ruptured and that she was in labour. The nurse also told her that she would be given an IV drip to induce or “speed up” her labour. Two nurse aids, a male and a female, tended to her in a labour preparation room but were rudely sent out of the room by a nurse, whom the woman described as “a pig in nurse clothes” that took over the shift.
“Oh my God, that woman was terrible. From the time she took over was, like ‘Whoa!’ I told her I was in terrible pain because I kept feeling movements in my lower tummy and I start crying out. She rolled her eyes and sucked her teeth, telling me, ‘Look you ain’t feeling no pain because you ain’t ready… yuh best get up and walk about’ and continue to read a papers she had,” she said.
She said that she screamed and writhed in pain for about five hours and sometime after nine in the evening the nurse volunteer that had tended to her returned and was shocked to know that she had not delivered or was being tended to. She swiftly wheeled an ultrasound machine to the room the woman was in and after undertaking checks gave the woman the devastating news that her baby had died. She also informed her and that she would need to be rushed to the operating theatre for surgery to remove the foetus as complications would increase with time.
Wangija related that even after the surgical removal of her dead baby, there was no emotional support, counselling or anyone who checked to ensure she was okay. Instead, the same nurse was annoyed that she was brought back into the ward and said that she should be discharged as she was “taking up bed space.”
The housewife is calling on the GPH administration to place emphasis on the attitude of the nurses and provide them with training. She said that while she knows that her case will probably be swept under a rug, she has at least highlighted her experience to forewarn mothers. “If I had the money and could afford it, I would have gone private and I would tell mothers now do that… you would think that, as a woman, a nurse would understand what you are going through but some of them ain’t get heart. That one I had to deal with fuh sure,” she said.