Mahaicony family seeking justice after death of newborn

-says doctor claimed condition was “normal”

Sherissa Lyte

A Calcutta, Mahaicony family is now seeking justice after the death of a five-day-old baby, who succumbed on Wednesday after being rushed to the Mahaicony Hospital for the third time within a day.

Eighteen-year-old Sherissa Lyte, a first time mother of Calcutta, Mahaicony, gave birth to the baby boy on Friday, March 15th, at the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation (GPHC).

Days later, the baby succumbed to what the family would later learn was Bronchopneumonia. It is the family’s belief that the doctor with whom they interfaced at the Mahaicony Hospital erred by not examining the baby when he was presented by the family for treatment.

Lyte was admitted to the GPHC two days prior to delivery. Following a successful delivery, both Lyte and her baby were discharged from the hospital last Sunday.

Two days after, the family was forced to rush the infant to the Mahaicony Hospital, after he appeared to be ill and was not feeding.

Sherissa Lyte’s baby

Following two consecutive visits, the mother and other family members were told the baby was normal and were sent away. On the third occasion, the infant died.

The family is therefore dissatisfied with the manner in which the matter was dealt and is calling for justice.

Family members said that had the doctor who attended to the child on all three occasions properly examined him on the first visit, or even referred the case to another hospital, they would have been satisfied.

“Everybody would have feel more satisfied if he (the doctor) had try something, you know…in a case that even self you cannot deal with the situation, even self you seh well alright you have to see a child doctor or baby doctor or whatever it is, right. If you did give a form and seh man, either go to Georgetown or NA, write up some kinda thing, everybody woulda feel much more satisfy that yhk make an effort…You have a licence fah do whatever you doing and I think he supposed to have senior doctor in there to know whether if you can’t deal with it you woulda call somebody for assistance or ideas,” the infant’s grandfather, Marlon Lyte, explained to Sunday Stabroek.

An autopsy performed on Friday showed that the infant died as a result of Bronchopneumonia.

Bronchopneumonia, also known also lobular pneumonia, is a type of pneumonia that also causes inflammation in the bronchi.

Bronchi are the air passages that feed air into the lungs.

When Sunday Stabroek visited the Mahaicony Hospital yesterday, the nurse in charge at the time said she could not release any information about the incident, while noting that she was not on duty at the time the baby was treated.

Sonia Lyte, the child’s grandmother, related to this newspaper that they arrived at the hospital around 7 or 8pm on Tuesday night, when they met the doctor, whom they told that the baby was not breastfeeding and appeared to be experiencing pain.

“Anyway, he seh leh she (Sherissa) take out her breast and put it into the baby mouth. So she put the breast. I seh man, the baby ain’t teking the breast. Anyway…continue putting the breast in. So when I explain to he and tell he wah happen to the baby and thing, he seh, well that is like normal. That could happen. He seh he is nah the paediatrician. So he seh, ‘man wah yuh expect me to give a five days old baby?’ Then he seh continue putting the breast and thing and he send we way after then,” Sonia stated.

Sonia said the child was not examined on the first occasion, he was only weighed by a nurse. “Anyway we come ’way. Before we come ’way, he (the doctor) seh that how any baby doctor it gon’ either be New Amsterdam or Georgetown, because he is not a baby doctor. But he ain’t give me nothing…but after he tell we wah happening to the baby, is a normal something, we come back home,” she added.

After they returned home, Sonia said, the baby fell asleep. “…The baby fall asleep and we end up fall asleep also. When we wake up, it’s like between sleep and wake we hear the baby crying. It was like after 3 o’clock (Wednesday morning). When we jump up, the baby crying, crying. Then the baby start to breathe very hard. Anyway, I call fah help around and we go back to the hospital with speed because after we went before and it was the closest hospital. So we run back to he after he tell we is something like something normal and suh. So we go back fah he like realise wah happen to this baby now,” Sonia further explained.

She said on this instance, they met with the same doctor.

“….So he seh, ‘What happen?’ And we tell he the baby now breathing very hard. He seh but the baby nah breathe so hard here right now. Anyway, he seh leh she put she breast in the baby mouth. Again, he keep telling we the same thing. He seh put the breast in the baby mouth. When we put the breast in the baby mouth, the baby start to mek a sound…Anyway, the baby ain’t sucking, just the breast in he mouth like duh,” she added.

Sonia noted that the doctor asked the family to exit his office and to sit outside and wait. “He tek the baby now, he check the pulse on the baby, he tek this shine thing (stethoscope) wah they does use on the baby back and he seh the baby is normal. He breathing and everything normal,” she said.

The family again returned home.

Upon arriving, they said they realised the baby was dead.

“…By time we meet home, we realise like the baby dead. So we seh leh we go back now to confirm if the baby dead. When we reach, he didn’t come out at the said time. At least for a while we run back there, he didn’t come out for a while. The baby was on the bed. I come out from the room and I lef the baby with meh daughter (Sherissa). Me aint know, I can’t say who pronounce the baby dead, ’cause me and meh daughter come outside and left the baby on the bed with other family members,” Sonia further stated.

She said they learnt of the baby’s death after family members began shouting. “After a certain time, I went and hold the baby. I feel the baby stiff stif,f. Before I walk out the room, when I hold the baby, I feel the baby stiff, stiff like a board already,” Sonia recalled.

“I personally believe that we deserve we right that we suppose to get because all I saying is that he should have done something…right is right,” Marlon said, while noting that as the grandfather, he is not satisfied with the manner in which the matter was dealt with.

“We are all human being. Everybody woulda feel satisfied that well, this doctor try and thing and it didn’t work out and this baby die…So I personally blame he for that…You would mind a pet, whether a dog or bird or something, and he dead you would feel it, much less a human being alive wah yuh carry fah nine months. Plus is she fuss child,” he further noted.

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