Hospital staff to be fired after probe into powerlifter’s death found he left patients unattended

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The services of an attendant at the Diamond Diagnostic Centre are up for termination after a recent probe found that a patient died while the staff left for home when he should have been on duty.

Powerlifter Rawndel Clementson should have been partially in the care of Anthony Samuels on the night of his death – June 20, 2023 – but could not be fully attended to although in a critical condition.

Following the investigation, Regional Health Officer Dr. Gavinash Persaud on Thursday confirmed that several steps would be taken to improve overall services at the East Bank Demerara facility.

The investigation commenced soon after the 44-year-old man died amid complaints from relatives that he received poor care at the hospital.

“Their report was taken; we looked at it and we recognized that our staff need refresher training which we are going to do regionally and the attendant who was supposed to be working that night had escaped. He had gone from the job,” Dr Persaud said.

“I made recommendations for him to be dismissed,” he added.

Dr. Persaud previously detailed the information received and said the man was taken to the hospital at about 03:00 hrs. It was reported that he was complaining of chest pains and intense heart palpitations. A doctor on duty and several nurses responded to the emergency.

However, his weight proved a challenge for the team to get him onto a bed. As such, the doctor attended to him on the ground.

The attendant was nowhere to be found. It was later confirmed that Samuels reportedly left the hospital to go home. Dr Persaud said this is not a one-time situation where attendants go to work and leave without reason.

He said that the dismissal has been activated because the report from the relatives and staff suggests that had the man been present when Clementson fell, he would’ve assisted with picking him up and placing him on a bed.

Region Four Regional Health Officer (RHO) Dr. Gavinash Persaud (Photo: News Room/ May 22, 2021)

“Management can do all that it wants, unless we keep people to their spots. It’s a behavioral issue and there is nothing we can do unless people pull their socks up,” he said.

In addition, life support training will be conducted by the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation (GPHC). The staff will also undergo public service training to better engage with persons seeking medical attention.

Dr. Persaud explained that the technical staff are equipped to conduct lifesaving procedures but noted that without constant practice, persons need to undergo refresher courses.

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