Wed | Apr 14, 2021

Mom complains of hospital’s lack of urgency to treat newborn

Published:Thursday | March 4, 2021 | 12:16 AMJudana Murphy/Gleaner Writer

The mother of a three week and five days old baby, who has been hospitalised for just under two weeks, is lamenting the poor communication and lack of urgency in carrying out medical tests on her young child.

Natasha Williams’ son was born on February 5 at the Spanish Town Hospital in St Catherine and released on the 9th.

Ten days later, the 24-year-old mother said she took him back to the hospital because he had a fever and was not eating.

He was admitted on the same day.

“They said that he looked very sick, and they suspected that he might have an infection,” she told The Gleaner.

On three separate occasions when she went to the hospital during visiting hours last week, she was not provided with an update on the status of her son’s health.

“When I asked for the doctor, they told me that the doctor had already left. Yesterday (Tuesday), I got some information,” she said.

One week after he was admitted, Williams said she was told that they needed to do an ultrasound on his head to determine if there was internal bleeding.

“They said the ultrasound would’ve been done the Friday, and when I went there, they said there was nobody there to do the ultrasound,” Williams said.

She was also advised that only emergency cases are dealt with on the weekend.

“They suspected that he was bleeding in his head. My son is a three-week-old baby. Wouldn’t his case be considered an emergency?” she questioned.

The mother said she enquired about conducting the diagnostic exam privately and was told that it had to be done at the hospital.

The ultrasound was conducted the following Monday, and the results showed residue from bleeding and excess fluid in his brain.

On Tuesday, her son was diagnosed with meningitis, which is an inflammation of the fluid and membranes surrounding the brain and spinal cord.

A CT scan has since been scheduled, for further diagnosis, said Williams, who has made both verbal and written complaints to the hospital’s patient affairs unit.

Williams said there were challenges prior to the birth of her son as she had been attending the hospital’s high-risk clinic, and a few days before her due date, the doctor informed her that she would need a C-section.

“I ended up going to the labour ward the Thursday night, which was the 4th, and while I was there, even though I brought in the paper from the doctor authorising the C-section, they broke my water and had me there in pain before they brought me to do the surgical procedure,” she recounted.

When contacted yesterday, the hospital’s CEO, Dwayne Francis, said he had no knowledge of the matter and requested information for the commencement of an investigation.

He also recommended that Williams present herself to his office.

judana.murphy@gleanerjm.com