Two Berbice babies die shortly after birth

-mother condemns treatment at Skeldon hospital

The Skeldon Public Hospital is being accused by a mother of negligence and inhumane treatment towards her and her infant who died hours after he was born.

The grieving mother, Jennifer Winter, 20, of No.65 Village, Corentyne, Berbice, gave birth to her now deceased son, Alexander, on Monday at 23:05 hrs at the Skeldon public hospital. She was admitted on Sunday night. The baby died on Tuesday.

Stabroek News attempted to speak to the Head of the Berbice Health Authority Dr. Vishwa Mahadeo last evening on the case but was unable to do so.

Winter stated from the time she was admitted to the hospital she was treated very badly.

The woman said that from the time her amniotic sac burst and she called out to the nurse on duty she was told “go and see what you gone do with [yourself]….”

“I went in the washroom and clean up my self… but with so much pain I left the clothing on the floor… I returned and started to vomit and asked the nurse for something to vomit in and she ignored me. I vomit on a towel that was on the floor,” she recounted.

On Monday morning, Winter said she asked the doctors to transfer her to the New Amsterdam Hospital but they refused. When other family members asked for her to be transferred they were told “if y’all think y’all know better than the doctors and nurses go do it” by one of the nurses.

 Jennifer Winter
Jennifer Winter

Winter said she continued to experience harsh treatment and whenever she went into the labour room she had to help herself up and down the bed.

An aunt, Babita (only name given) recalled that on one occasion when they were present a nurse went to them and said “go and bring out the mess” in reference to Winter, who was in the labour room and had not given birth as yet.

During her pregnancy, Winter said she was healthy and did not develop any complications. However, when she was ready to give birth, the baby was struck in her and she told the midwife and doctors who were present in the room that she could not push any further. She stated that she was told by the doctors then that she would have to take a caesarean cut whenever she became pregnant again. She said one of the doctors tried to push the baby downwards whilst the midwife and the other doctor pulled on the other end.

The young mother added that at one point the doctors performed an episiotomy on her to widen the birth canal to facilitate delivery of the baby. After the baby was delivered and the doctors were about to close the perineum, she asked for an injection to numb the pain but doctors told her “…my skin … is too stiff and they cannot numb me.” The distraught mother said she had to endure the pain and discomfort as they concluded the operation.

Winter lamented that after giving birth to her son “he was not breathing and only had heart beat.” After observing this the doctors took the infant for medical attention, Winter said when she got up during the night she went to check on the child and saw froth oozing out of the baby’s mouth and reported to the nurse on duty.

“…I went and wake up the nurse and she told me that she tired,” she said, adding that later that day, the grandmother of the child pleaded with the doctors and nurses to transfer the baby to the New Amsterdam hospital for further medical attention but the medical practitioners declined. The family stated that it was during the afternoon hours that the staff decided to rush the infant to the New Amsterdam Hospital. The baby, the mother added, died forty-five minutes after he was admitted to the institution.

An autopsy performed on the infant yesterday by Pathologist Dr. Vivekananda Bridgemohan at the New Amsterdam hospital mortuary said the baby died from suffocation. However, the family is not 100 percent convinced as they said during the delivery the mother experienced complications and the medical practitioners “push and pull” for the baby to be delivered. The family stated too that the infant was bleeding through his nose at one point.

Family members who were present when Winter spoke to the media expressed dissatisfaction at the manner the medical practitioners dealt with her.

Winter said this was her first child and she never expected the experience to be so “terrible.”

Meanwhile, another infant from No.51 Village died on Wednesday at the Georgetown Public Hospital after being transferred from the New Amsterdam hospital.

The mother, Marcelyn Jacobs 28, was admitted to the New Amsterdam Hospital on Monday but gave birth on Wednesday at 1:35 hrs. When the baby was born the heart rate was fluctuating and he was rushed to the GPHC. The family told Stabroek News that they are not blaming the hospital for the child’s death but believe that if the doctors had performed a C-section cut on Tuesday the day given for her to deliver the baby, the baby would have been alive.

They however, expressed thanks and gratitude to the health institution staff for their words of comfort and all the assistance they have given.

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