T&T caesarean death report for DPP

(Trinidad Express) The report into the Caesarean-section death of baby Simeon  is to be sent to the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) for immediate investigation, Attorney General Anand Ramlogan said on Monday.

Ramlogan, at a news conference at the Office of the Attorney General in Port of Spain at which Simeon’s mother, Quelly Ann Cottle was present, said the report will also be submitted to the office of the Commissioner of Police for a “full scale investigation” into the facts and circumstances of the baby’s death.

The report will also be sent to the Medical Board of Trinidad and Tobago as part of the process of determining any disciplinary action against Dr Javed Chinnia, who performed the surgery and who has since been suspended.

Ramlogan said he also met yesterday with Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar, who was “very concerned” about the findings of the report and she has instructed Health Minister Dr Fuad Khan to look immediately into implementing its recommendations.

Ramlogan said the Prime Minister’s priority in this matter is that a similar incident never occurs again.

The PM also instructed Ramlogan to present the report to the family, which he did yesterday, handing over a copy to Cottle.

On March 1, baby Simeon died after his head was cut open during Caesarean section surgery at the Women’s Hospital of the Eric Williams Medical Sciences Complex.

Ramlogan appointed a team to probe the baby’s death and was presented with the report on June 6.

The team was chaired by retired Justice of Appeal Mustapha Ibrahim and included United Kingdom specialist Dr Melanie Clare Davies and retired neonatologist, Dr Petronella Manning-Alleyne.

In commending the team, Ramlogan said Government got what it wanted—an “independent, no holds barred” report.

Monday’s news conference followed an hour-long meeting between Ramlogan and Cottle, which he described as “heartbreaking”.

Answering questions later on, Ramlogan described the scenario of the baby’s death as “tragic” and “depressing” , adding that reading the report leaves one with a lingering sense of disappointment.

“Quelly Ann was cheated by the system,” Ramlogan said.

“Her loss is one that no mother, no father should ever have to bear.”

While the matter is now one for the DPP and for Cottle’s lawyers led by Farid Scoon, Ramlogan said the report veers clearly towards “negligence” on the part of the doctors and institution that managed baby Simeon.

Ramlogan declined to speculate on the outcome of the matter in terms of discipline and said that would be a matter for the DPP.

Among the recommendations of the committee is that junior doctors must be supervised but Ramlogan could not say yesterday whether the senior doctor on duty at the time of the Cottle death would be looked at as part of the investigation.

He said, however, “In this particular case, I think it is abundantly clear that the senior doctor should have been present to guide the junior doctor.”

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