Officials at West Dem. Hospital did not report death of newborn; probe launched


Minister of Health Dr. Frank Anthony has ordered an investigation into the death of a baby boy who died hours after he was born at the West Demerara Regional Hospital at Vreed-en-Hoop, West Coast Demerara on January 18, 2022.

In his daily COVID-19 update on Tuesday, Dr. Anthony revealed that neither the hospital nor the regional authorities made any report of the incident – a breakaway from the protocols.

As per the protocols, when incidents of maternal deaths occur, the authorities are obligated to lodge a report within 48-hours but in this case, none was made, the Health Minister said.

“We have seen the [news] report…unfortunately, we did not receive any such report from the relevant hospital,” he said.

Now, a team led by the Chief Medical Officer (CMO) Dr. Narine Singh has been dispatched to the facility to investigate the report and provide recommendations on how to improve the healthcare system there.

“Right now, that team is there so I am looking forward to see what recommendations they make and then implementing,” he added.

The mother, 34-year-old Kumarie Sankar alleged that the baby was “starved of oxygen” for a period of five minutes which led to his death.

The woman recalled that when the baby was delivered, he did not cry and was not breathing; doctors had to resuscitate him. He later died on January 18.

An autopsy report, seen by the News Room, revealed that Simeon Desouza died as a result of perinatal asphyxia, neonatal respiratory distress and multi-organ failure.

Perinatal asphyxia is caused by a lack of oxygen while respiratory distress syndrome (NRDS) happens when a baby’s lungs are not fully developed and cannot provide enough oxygen, causing breathing difficulties.

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