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Mom in limbo

By Sasha Harrinanan Tuesday, April 22 2014

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Sad mom: A despondent Lystra Mills remains in limbo over the condition of her baby daughter who remains warded at the Mt Hope Women's Hospital for tre...
Sad mom: A despondent Lystra Mills remains in limbo over the condition of her baby daughter who remains warded at the Mt Hope Women's Hospital for tre...

First-time mother, Lystra Mills, 34, is “in limbo” because doctors at Mt Hope Women’s Hospital can neither tell her how long it will take for a burn on her newborn daughter’s inner left ankle to heal, nor when baby Kaitlin Soriah Mills, would likely be discharged from the neo-natal Intensive Care Unit (ICU).

“Initially (April 14), they told me they wanted to keep my baby for a week, maybe two weeks. Now they’re telling me they don’t know. Today (yesterday) the doctor giving me an update, he said, ‘Well baby is doing excellent. We just want to keep her until the burn heals some more.’ So I asked him, ‘How long?’ and he would look to tell me, Ask baby.’”

A clearly shocked Mills, speaking with Newsday at the hospital yesterday afternoon, recalled thinking, “What you mean, ‘Ask baby?’ Are you crazy? You’ve had her here for two weeks, can’t you see how she’s doing and at least average when she would likely be discharged?”

Mills’ daughter was scheduled to be delivered via Caesarean section (C-section) on April 8, but she was rushed to the operating room on April 4 after telling a nurse about “yellow fluid” leaking from her vaginal area. The day before, Mills had observed “clear fluid” but she recalled the staff on duty “didn’t seem concerned.”

“From what I now know, that clear fluid was my water bag leaking and the yellow fluid was my baby “pooping” in the amniotic sack.

The doctors said the “pooping” was what caused Kaitlin’s bacterial infection, (triggering) her need to be fed via intravenous fluid (IV) injections in her veins,” Mills shared.

In order to find a “suitable” vein, the hair on each side of Kaitlin’s head was shaved off. It’s unclear if an IV was inserted on the baby girl’s head but Mills said IV lines were inserted in a vein along her baby’s inner left ankle; the same area where a “black, sort of oval-shaped burn mark” has since appeared.

Mills told Newsday her baby was deemed healthy enough to come off IV fluids on April 9 and since then, “Kaitlin has been on breast milk, and formula when what I’ve expressed runs out.”

In the meantime, Mills struggles to get answers, and compassion, from the doctors and nurses treating her baby girl.

“Every time I go to the (neo-natal) ICU, a different doctor is on duty, so there’s no consistency in my interaction with the people treating my daughter. Plus, Kaitlin cries a lot, so the nurses used to tell me ‘Please, do not wake her up’, but I only get to see my daughter once a day. Why would they do that to me?”

Fighting back tears, Mills revealed that it was only this past week, nurses told her to find out when “feeding time” was and to visit her daughter during that time.

“So that’s what I do now. I feed her, spend an hour or two with her, then leave. But it’s very hard for me afterward. I feel very sad when I have to leave her here, especially since the doctors can’t even tell me how long the burn will take to heal enough that she will be allowed to come home,” Mills lamented.

Contacted by Newsday yesterday afternoon, chairman of the North Central Regional Health Authority, Dr Shehenaz Mohammed, said she would be requesting a report on baby Kaitlin’s treatment and will request a meeting with Mills.

“I cannot ask the doctors to discharge a child if it can be proven to be medically or legally negligent to discharge that child if it requires care in the neo-natal ICU. However, I will definitely ask for a report from the nurses and doctors about what has happened. I will also be contacting the mother to request a meeting with her. The best thing is to bring both parties together for the benefit of the child’s care,” Mohammed stated.

Speaking with reporters yesterday, Health Minister, Dr Fuad Khan, said while he not yet been appraised of the details about the burn on baby Kaitlin’s burn, “Sometimes with IV injections, some of the fluid may leak out of those small veins in young children. When that occurs the solution leaks from the capillaries around the area itself, and you get what looks like a burn.”



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