GPHC launches ‘thorough’ probe into teacher’s death


The Georgetown Public Hospital has launched a thorough investigation after a teacher died on Friday last following a surgery to remove gallstones. Relatives of Shonnata Rowena Sawh have since accused the hospital of negligence. Sawh, of Mon Repos, East Coast Demerara was a primary school teacher at the village’s primary school.

See the full statement from GPHC below:

The Management of the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation (GPHC) notes the circulation of Facebook post and news publications where allegations of neglect and negligence are being levelled against hospital staff in relation to the death of Ms. Shonnata Rowena Sawh who underwent a cholecystectomy at the GPHC and subsequently died on Friday, November 18, 2022. Upon receipt of this information, we immediately launched an investigation to ascertain the facts surrounding the patient’s care and subsequent death.

A careful review of the timelines in the patient’s records indicate that the patient was admitted on Tuesday, November 15, 2022, for the elective procedure with underlying morbidities which her team ascertained were sufficiently controlled to allow medical clearance for the procedure. On Wednesday, November 16, 2022, Ms. Shaw underwent what was described as an uneventful surgery, recovered from anaesthesia, and was transferred to the wards for further recovery as per standard operating procedure. On Thursday, November 17, 2022, the patient’s condition started to deteriorate to the point where ICU care was required. Subsequently, while receiving care in the ICU the patient succumbed on Friday, November 18, 2022.

While we will not divulge the specifics of the patient’s diagnosis and medical management, we are committed to a thorough investigation; where action is required, we are committed to act swiftly on those recommendations of that investigation. Additionally, we remain committed to providing any support and information to the family of Ms. Shaw as they mourn her unfortunate loss.

  1. Derk says

    This is another strange phenomenon! Vomiting after elective laparoscopic Cholecystectomy?

  2. Patricia Pierre says

    How unfortunate. What is tragic about the entire situation is the fact that Ms.. Shaw successfully underwent the operation, was doing well but eventually succumed.. What could have gone wrong? Only time will tell. I grieve with her relatives but what is grief to a loss of life. It cannot compensate for that loss. May God give them renewed strength to carry on.

  3. Derk says

    If this lady had underlying health problems that should have been identified before an elective surgery by the preoperative assessment unit and addressed before the operation.
    This investigation should be conducted by independent investigators and a coroner’s report.

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