Mother gives birth in hospital compound

-after being denied entry by guard

A woman gave birth to her baby in the compound of the Georgetown Public Hospital (GPH) late on Thursday night, after she said she was denied entry by a security guard on duty.

Coretta Sharpe, 33, of Agricola, East Bank Demerara, said that around 9.30 pm on Thursday night, she began getting contractions that were five minutes apart. She said that as the contractions got worse, her stepmother and sister decided that it was time to take her to the hospital.

Sharpe added that on arrival at the GPH around 11 pm, she and her family members were told by the security guard that they could not allowed to enter the compound. She said they were told that one person must leave the car, enter the hospital compound and speak with a nurse before anyone else will be permitted to enter.

Coretta Shape holds her newborn baby boy
Coretta Shape holds her newborn baby boy

When Stabroek News contacted Chief Executive Officer of GPH Michael Khan, he said he was not aware of the incident and as far as he is aware, pregnant women are given priority at the hospital.

A release from the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation yesterday said

“the Nation’s provider of Health, wishes to advise that (a) patient delivered a live baby boy at the bottom of the stairs of the Maternity Unit at 23:25hrs on Thursday October 24, 2013.

“It was reported to the Hospital that the Guard on duty at the gate was reluctant to let the Taxi through the maternity gate until she had done a check on the persons in the vehicle. This is part of Standard Operating Procedures at the Institution as we have had instances of abuse of staff (a nurse was doused with acid by a rejected male).

“The patient had three (3) previous deliveries.

“GPHC is pleased to state that at present, both mother and baby are in stable condition in the Post Natal Ward having been attended to by Sister Batson-Lord and Dr. Luncheon (GMO).”

Relating her experience,  Sharpe said “My stepmom began to get angry because when she went into the hospital compound, she couldn’t get no nurse or anyone to assist me”.

After a few minutes of deliberation, they were allowed into the compound but still there was no nurse or attendant present to assist the pregnant woman, according to her mother, Claudette Drayton.

Sharpe said she was unable to get out of the car by herself and was assisted by family members. She added that shortly afterward, at around 11.25 pm, she went into labour and gave birth to her 2kg baby boy.

“I had to stoop down by the emergency area and push he out ’cause the pain was more than me. I couldn’t handle the pain and no one was coming to my assistance. My stepmom catch the baby for me cause otherwise he coulda fall on the ground,” Sharpe said.

She added that after she had already given birth to her baby in the hospital compound, nurses began to gather around her and assisted with the cutting of the umbilical cord and took her up to the ward.

Speaking from her bed in GPH Maternity Ward yesterday, Sharpe said she is the mother of two boys, who are 11 and 8 years old, and being pregnant with her third child excited her—hence her disappointment in her experience at the hospital was deeply felt.

She added, however, that she is very thankful that both she and her baby are well.

Drayton said what her daughter endured was very serious, because both parties could have succumbed owing to negligence. She added that the nurses and doctors at GPH should be more equipped and organised to efficiently carry out their tasks because emergencies can happen at any time.