Jun 09, 2013 News
Although there are some controversies surrounding the use of Cytotec –ranging from uterine rupture to amniotic fluid embolism, the labour inducing medication is still very much approved by many health sectors, Guyana being no exception.
But according to Minister of Health, Dr Bheri Ramsaran, although the drug is a legitimate one it is imperative that patients, to whom it is administered, are closely monitored. “Cytotec is a good drug to induce labour…it is in protocol now and it is one that is being used more and more for such activities…but once you induce labour by whatever method, patients must be monitored,” asserted the Minister.
His comments come in wake of the recent maternal death at the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation. Twenty-eight-year-old Luan Rodney was admitted to the hospital around 15:00 hours on Monday last and by the following morning was pronounced dead. This publication understands that Cytotec was administered to the woman the night of her admission but there was no evident monitoring of the patient.
In fact, reports from a patient in the same ward with Rodney revealed that although she was in evident labour pain for quite some time it was not until the now dead woman started bleeding that nurses swung into action.
The doctor who attended to the woman informed her husband, Nigel Rodney, during a meeting that he was not aware that the woman was bleeding in the ward as he was not so informed by the ward nurses.
The grieving husband said that the doctor also informed him that once a patient is found to be bleeding, be it due to a ruptured uterus or the passing of the placenta before the delivery of the baby, it requires emergency surgery. As such, he said that immediate moves were made to rush the woman to the operating theatre.
Nigel Rodney said that he was told that his wife was losing a great deal of blood and therefore required a blood transfusion. The man said, too, that he was told that his wife was unconscious throughout the entire process and never regained consciousness.
According to a statement from the GPHC, Luan Rodney died at 07:50 hours. Her baby was reportedly delivered stillborn as a result of the development.
“Disappointing is a mild word for what happened to this patient…it is painful that this has happened especially in our main tertiary hospital,” said the Health Minister. He said that it was such developments that had some time back invoked the concern of the Government which led to the creation of an Expert Committee to review the maternal death reports and make needful recommendations.
As it relates to the recent maternal death, the Minister said that he is satisfied that the process of reporting has been efficient. And according to him “it didn’t kick in correctly only for this event but it did also for another (recent) maternal death at the Balwant Singh Hospital within the prescribed time.”
Notification within a specific timeframe of maternal deaths as well as for children under the age of five is required by law, according to the Minister. Following notification, he said that the Ministry of Health has a cascade of events which includes the review of reports into the reported deaths.
A probe into maternal and mortality deaths is usually streamlined and overseen by the Office of the Chief Medical Officer (CMO). And since the substantive CMO is currently abroad on work detail, the overseer role is being undertaken by Programme Director of the National AIDS Programme Secretariat, Dr Shanti Singh.
After all documents are gathered, the Expert Committee is expected to review all reports and make determinations within a specific time. And according to Minister Ramsaran, “so far this last case is on track and previous cases are on track as well,” he added.
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