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Mom gets dead baby in a bag

By CAROL MATROO Friday, March 21 2014

The North-West Regional Health Authority (NWRHA) is investigating an incident where a young woman who had miscarried found the dead foetus in a black plastic bag in which her bloodied clothes had been placed at Port-of-Spain General Hospital (PoSGH).

Tikeya Jordan, 23, of Trou Macaque, Laventille, made the grisly discovery when she returned home after she was discharged from the hospital yesterday.

Judith Ramoutar, chief executive officer of the NWRHA, under whose purview the PoSGH falls, was mandated by NWRHA’s chairman, Dr Edi son Haqq, to conduct a full investigation.

Ramoutar said an initial report was given to Health Minister Dr Fuad Khan, last night, where she revealed that proper protocol was not followed by the doctor or nurse.

“The names have been submitted to the minister and the proper action will be taken accordingly. In the meantime the matter is still being investigated,” Ramoutar said.

Jordan had gone to the PoSGH on Wednesday at about 11.30 am when she began experiencing back pain and bleeding.

Jordan said she alerted the nurses on the ward when she “felt something coming down”, and realised something was very wrong. Upon examining her, the doctor found out that she was five months pregnant. The doctor expelled the foetus by the Dilation and Curettage (D and C) procedure and Jordan was taken to a ward. The bag containing her bloody clothes was brought up with her. When she was discharged the bag was given to her boyfriend.

In a television interview, the young woman said when she got home she asked her mother, who was washing at the time, to “wash these few pieces of clothes.”

While opening the plastic bag to retrieve her clothes, Jordan said she felt something “cold and wet.”

Saying she could not believe what she was feeling, Jordan told her mother to look inside the bag and see what it was. Upon opening the bag the mother discovered the body of the 20-week-old foetus. Jordan was traumatised by the discovery.

Ramoutar has assured that the matter would be investigated thoroughly.

The NWRHA CEO said this incident was highly unusual.

“This is seven years of my being at the NWRHA and I’ve never heard of it nor seen it. No doubt that it has happened before, but this is very, very unusual, that is why it needs some more investigation,” she said.

Ramoutar said Jordan has been receiving counselling and a senior hospital administrator visited the woman at her home yesterday afternoon.

“We went directly to the mother’s home. As a mother as well, I empathise with Ms Jordan, it is really something heart wrenching,” Ramoutar said.

One doctor, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said there were certain procedures in disposing of premature foetuses.

“If a woman miscarries then the foetus is wrapped in a red bag that is marked bio-hazard material, the same paper that is used to wrap the placenta, and it is taken to the morgue. If the foetus is developed enough the mother may want to take it home to have a burial. If the foetus is about ten to 12 weeks old then you would be looking at a size of a little rubber ball, but at 20 weeks that’s a good sized foetus, so I think it should have been taken to the morgue,” the doctor said.

The doctor noted that bio-medical waste in hospitals was disposed off through something called a sluice.

“Things like blood and blood clots are disposed through the sluice, so the foetus is disposed of down the sluice. A larger foetus would be taken to the morgue,” the doctor said. This is the second mishap involving a regional health authority (RHA) in recent times.

On March 1, baby Simeon was slashed in the head during his mother’s Caesarian-section at Mt Hope Women’s Hospital. He bled to death after living for just five hours. The doctor who performed the surgery has since been suspended pending the outcome of an independent investigation. Mt Hope Women’s Hospital falls under the North Central RHA.

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