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Autopsy delay for ‘toothache patient’

Tuesday, December 31 2013

The family of Juanessa John has to wait an extra day for an autopsy to be conducted at the Eric Williams Medical Sciences Complex’s (EWMSC) mortuary in Mt Hope.

John, 30, died last Saturday after being hospitalised for 11 months after seeking medical treatment for a painful wisdom tooth on January 24. John had been diagnosed with Ludwig’s angina, a type of skin infection that occurs on the floor of the mouth, under the tongue. John sought medical attention for the wisdom tooth at the Arima Health Facility and was then sent to the EWMSC. Just hours after, John slipped into a coma and remained in that condition until her death.

When Newsday contacted the family yesterday, a relative said they visited the hospital’s mortuary expecting the autopsy to be done however, they were told to return today as John’s file needed to be updated.

The relative said they thought it was strange that a file needed to be updated and they believed something was amiss.

When John’s story was highlighted in June, Health Minister Dr Fuad Khan promised to look into the matter.

When contacted yesterday, Khan, who is out of the country, said he asked the Chief Medical Officer in the Ministry of Health, Dr Akenath Misir, to look into the matter and has not received an official report as yet. He directed Newsday to Chief of Staff, Dr Andy Bhagwandass who then directed Newsday to the North Central Regional Health Authority (NCRHA) CEO Kumar Boodram who said he could not give a comment until he gets the okay from NCRHA chairman Dr Shehenaz Mohammed who is out of the country and is expected to return on January 6.

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