Minister of Health, Dr. Bheri Ramsaran, said he has instructed the Chief Executive Officer of the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation (GPHC), Michael Khan, along with the Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Shamdeo Persaud to ascertain what went wrong that ultimately led to the death of Evita Singh.
Singh, 34, and her baby died last week at the Georgetown Hospital after doctors at the institution allegedly inserted six “Cytotec” tablets into the woman in an effort to induce labour. The Minister said yesterday that an investigation has been launched.
“No one should die while giving life,” the Minister told media operatives yesterday as he addressed several concerns surrounding this latest maternal death.
According to Dr. Ramsaran, the Ministry of Health immediately launched an investigation following Singh’s death. He told the media that he has requested copies of the files on the matter.
Further, Dr. Ramsaran said that he has spoken to the hospital’s CEO about the issue of patient satisfaction. “We need to have persons meeting more often with doctors while at the hospital,” the Minister said.
He was adamant that persons should not be at the hospital for days and not be allowed to see a doctor, noting that it was totally “unacceptable”.
The Minister further told the media that while Michael Khan has assured that patient satisfaction is a regular feature at the institution, he would still consider it as a “phantom feature”.
Dr. Ramsaran insisted yesterday that there should be more “side rooms” available to ensure that there is interaction between relatives of patients and doctors.
Meanwhile, relatives of the dead woman have disclosed that a post mortem examination was conducted yesterday by Government Pathologist Dr. Nehaul Singh. The cause of death has been given as hypovolemic shock.
Hypovolemic shock, also called haemorrhagic shock, is a life-threatening condition that results when you lose more than 20 percent (one-fifth) of your body’s blood or fluid supply. This severe fluid loss makes it impossible for the heart to pump sufficient blood to your body. Hypovolemic shock can cause many of your organs to fail.
The post mortem also revealed that severe anemia contributed to Singh’s death. Anemia is usually defined as a decrease in the amount of red blood cells (RBCs) or the amount of hemoglobin in the blood
Relatives of the 34-year-old mother are blaming the doctors at the Georgetown Public Hospital for allegedly administering a lethal dose of “Cytotec” to her. Further, they say that the issue was compounded by a delayed C-section which also contributed to the baby’s death. The dead woman’s father, Dennis Ramjip, had told Kaieteur News that his daughter had attended prenatal clinic up to two Mondays ago and “was very healthy.”
He said that his daughter developed a “high fever”. She was reportedly advised to go to the GPHC before she took any medication.
Ramjip said that Singh eventually checked in at the GPHC’s maternity unit, where she received treatment for the fever. He alleged that after doctors learnt that Singh was expected to give birth by September 2, last, they administered two “Cytotec” tablets to help induce labour.
But according to the several doctors who spoke to Kaieteur News, Cytotec should never be administered to women who are pregnant, since it can cause birth defects, premature births and uterine ruptures. The pill is also used for abortion.
Kaieteur News was told that after Singh continued to experience difficulty during the delivery, doctors administered four more Cytotec pills.
Kaieteur News was told that relatives visited Singh on Thursday, and she told them what pills were administered to her, and what the nurses had said they were for. Ramjit said that his daughter was also advised that she would deliver her baby girl by Friday. They also (Kaieteur News) learnt that up to that point, the baby had a normal heart rate.
However, on Thursday, the father said that his daughter told relatives that she “was feeling pain and passing blood”. By the afternoon, when relatives went back to the hospital, they were informed that the woman was bleeding profusely, and that the pain had intensified.
Mr. Ramjip said that on Friday, he received a call from a hospital staff who told the family that they should “come quickly,” since Singh was in a critical condition. When relatives arrived, Singh was already unconscious, and she remained in that state up to the time of her death Saturday evening.
Ramjip told Kaieteur News that doctors told the relatives that the baby was stillborn. According to the father, after his daughter took a turn for the worse, doctors rushed her to the operating theatre for an emergency C-section.
However, relatives said that the surgery was delayed because there was only one functioning theatre with only one machine which is used for delivery. This is another issue Minister Ramsaran said has caused concern for his Ministry.
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