Having completed an internal investigation into its most recent maternal death, officials of the West Demerara Regional Hospital have submitted a report of their findings to the Ministry of Health.
Minister of Health, Dr Leslie Ramsammy, yesterday confirmed the submission and revealed that the report is currently in the possession of Chief Medical Officer, Dr Shamdeo Persaud.
The report, he said, was submitted on Saturday and will be subjected to pass through a thorough process which will entail the CMO having to determine whether the hospital’s findings are acceptable.
And according to Minister Ramsammy, the CMO will be given exactly seven days to consider the findings and decide if there is a need for an external investigation into the matter.
“I am allowing the CMO to do his work. I don’t want to interfere as it is…I haven’t even read the report but I am aware the CMO has it and he has seven days to deal with this matter,” Minister Ramsammy asserted.
The West Demerara Hospital was tasked with carrying out an investigation in the death of 38-year-old Waheeda Basil of De Willem, West Coast Demerara, who succumbed some time after 18:00 hours last week Thursday after giving birth to a healthy baby boy.
This newspaper was told that the woman who was previously a patient of the Meten-Meer-Zorg Health Centre was advised to travel to the West Demerara Regional Hospital after experiencing labour pains the same day.
The woman was so advised, this newspaper learnt, because her delivery was seen as a high-risk one, a situation which was hinged on the fact that she had last given birth some 13 years ago and she was very obese.
Accompanied by her husband, Deonarine Basil, the woman was admitted at the Regional Hospital and reports are that she safely gave birth to her third child. However, it was revealed that shortly after giving birth, the woman started complaining of dizziness and died before the source of her dilemma could be ascertained.
A source close to the operation of the hospital revealed that the woman bled for nearly one hour before a doctor who was summoned arrived to attend to her. However, a senior official at the hospital in an invited comment had assured that “everything that could have been done was done to save this woman’s life.
“The husband was there and he knows that the nurses and the doctors did everything that was possible.”
A post mortem was carried out on the woman’s remains on Friday and she was laid to rest on Saturday at the Meten-Meer-Zorg Cemetery.
And it was on Saturday, too, that Minister Ramsammy in a statement had revealed the Ministry was awaiting a report on the matter from the West Demerara Hospital. According to the Minister, the Ministry is awaiting the completion of an investigation into the matter and will thereafter determine the course of action.
According to him “the procedure is that the hospital must report a maternal death within 24 hours…and must provide the Ministry with a report of an investigation which is required within 48 hours after the death.”
Minister Ramsammy had noted that the hospital will be non-compliant should it not issue its report within the stipulated period. “The Ministry of Health will await the expiration of this period before it makes any further comment on this matter,” the Minister had added.
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