Jul 23, 2013 News
Recommendations from the Expert Committee tasked with investigating the death of 28-year-old Luan Rodney in the Maternity Unit of the Georgetown Public Hospital last month, are likely to be released to the Ministry of Health and filtered to the public hospital during the course of this week.
Word on the release of the recommendations was last week uttered by Administrator of the public hospital, Michael Khan, during an invited comment to this publication.
At the start of the investigation into the maternal death, the Committee had recommended that two doctors and two nurses be sent on administrative leave pending the outcome of the mandated process.
According to Khan, the Committee has thus far been able to complete investigations into the nursing care offered to the woman while she was hospitalised. He said, too, that the investigating team was slated to continue meeting to deliberate on the matter yesterday.
The Administrator also sought to highlight that the officials charged with undertaking the extensive probe are “people outside of the GPHC” therefore it is expected to be an unbiased process.
Head of the Presidential Secretariat, Dr Roger Luncheon, following the death of the woman had said that Cabinet had appointed an Expert Committee made up of specialists who are tasked with reviewing post mortem and other reports of maternal and infant mortality from various institutions where deaths occurs. These reports, he explained, would indicate the circumstances of the deaths.
However, Dr Luncheon in reference to the investigation of the death said, “I think we will have to prepare ourselves to obtain a report from this expert group in an untimely way. We won’t get it tomorrow or next week.”
“I won’t be surprised if that report gets to the Committee in July for a death that occurred in early June. That is where our dissatisfaction lies.”
However, it was one week following the death that the public hospital completed an internal investigation and submitted its findings to the Expert Committee.
The hospital in a statement said that its action was in compliance with the Health Ministry’s regulation on the reporting of maternal and child deaths in Guyana, that is, Act # 6 of 2005.
Rodney, according to hospital reports, died at 07:50 hours on Tuesday, June 4, 2013. She was admitted one day earlier to deliver her second child. The baby, this publication understands was delivered stillborn.
Doctors had reported to the now dead woman’s husband, Nigel Rodney that she had suffered a ruptured uterus and was bleeding profusely, a state of affairs which required a blood transfusion. However, desperate medical intervention was of no consequence as both the mother and child succumbed.
The hospital on the same day of the death issued a statement which said that the situation was regrettable and an investigation had commenced.
But although the death was regarded by Minister of Health, Dr Bheri Ramsaran, as “disappointing” he did accept that the reporting of the incident by the hospital was in accordance with legislated guidelines.
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 which is overseen by the office of the Chief Medical Officer.
According to Mr Khan an update of the investigation was recently provided to the husband of the deceased, Nigel Rodney, who had indicated his disappointment about the lack of information.
“We have spoken to the young man to let him know where we are because we promised to communicate this information to him,” disclosed Khan.
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