NCRHA head orders full report on death of triplets
By Miranda La Rose Wednesday, August 28 2013
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Chairman of the North Central Regional Health Authority (NCRHA), Dr Shehenaz Mohammed, has asked the Mount Hope Women’s Hospital for a full report on the death of triplets born prematurely in late May to Nicole Bowen at the Mount Hope Women’s Hospital.
Meanwhile, Health Minister Dr Fuad Khan, told the media yesterday at the Eric Williams Financial Complex Port-of-Spain that preliminary reports have indicated the triplets died of respiratory distress associated with pre-maturity.
He has ordered a detailed report, but up until yesterday afternoon he was still awaiting a written one.
Nevertheless, Khan said from the initial reports he has had, the babies were born at 26 weeks into gestation, and were premature. “We have been saving babies at 26 weeks, but it is a challenge in multiple pregnancies,” he said.
One of the problems with multiple pregnancies, he explained, was that of prematurity and ending up in a situation where the respiratory function is compromised.
Asked whether the women’s hospital was equipped to deal with multiple pregnancies noting that the death of the triplets comes on the heels of the death of three premature babies from TT’s first sextuplets, Khan said, “It is not that.”
The public health sector, he said has been getting more and more multiple pregnancies because of the use of fertility drugs, which also has its own complications.
At present, he said the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit of the hospital was being developed to a higher level. “Sometimes I wonder,” he said, “what people had been doing over the past 20 years.”
Newsday could not ascertain whether the triplets who died were part of a set of quadruplets, one of which died earlier on in the pregnancy. The babies were due to be delivered in July.
Mohammed extended condolences to Bowen and her family, on the loss of the infants.
Noting that prematurity has a number of attendant risks, she said the NCRHA was investigating the matter.
Meanwhile, on the ultra sound machine that has gone missing from the San Fernando General Hospital, Khan said that the ministry has heard nothing since.
To combat theft, he said the ministry is proposing to place Global Positioning System devices in all the machines as well as Radio Frequency Identification Devices on specific health equipment, including foods and pharmaceuticals. He is also proposing changing the cheap CCTV cameras, which are not able to show faces of persons, with the more expensive face recognition cameras.
Because of criminal activities being committed while private security was in place, Khan said government might have to consider using public sector security.
In terms of meeting the nursing and medical professionals needs, Khan said recruitment is being looked at in the Philippines, Malaysia, India, Uganda, and Nigeria.
Already, he noted that some doctors were coming from Cuba and nurses from St Vincent and the Grenadines.