The Ministry of Heath has announced that an investigation is underway into the death of a mother and her unborn child at St. Jude Hospital in Vieux-Fort on Saturday evening.
Chief Medical Officer (CMO) Dr. Merlene Fredericks has described the death as a “very sad situation” and has expressed condolences to the family, friends and partner of the young woman on behalf of the Ministry of Health.
The deceased has been identified by a family member as Sylvina Emmanuel, also known as Tootie, of Shanty Town, Vieux Fort.
Dr. Fredericks said a preliminary investigation has revealed that there “may have been some underlying medical cdonitons which contributed to the young lady’s demise”.
She added: “However, we will as a ministry, before the end of the week, commission a full inquiry of which we wil have specialists in obstetrics and gynecology, in internal medicine and cardiology from St. Jude, from Victoria Hospital and the community, review the notes and review the filings to ensure that procedures and policies and everything were followed during the care of the young lady.”
The CMO said an autopsy will reveal the cause of death.
“At this point we cannot speak to exactly what caused it, as we have to wait on the result of the autopsy to indicate what the real cause was. But from our investigation so far, it does indicate that when she came in on the Saturday evening she was quite distressed, and so, despite of the urgent emergency management which she received, the outcome was unfavourable. I should state though that it is a right, every woman has a right to having a safe delivery, to having healthy children; to receiving timely, appropriate, culturally-sensitive care during her pregnancy, and that is the mantra of the Ministry of Health.”
Frederick added: “Some of you may recall that we had an audit of our delivery processes whereby a team from the Pan American Health Organization came in and worked with us to identify some of the gaps that are present in our system, and we have taken steps to address those and continue working in that area. So once again I would just like, on behalf of the Ministry of Health, to express our sincere condolences.
“We are indeed saddened by this event and we can assure the general public that we will have a thorough investigation and ensure to the best of our ability that there is no recurrence. But we do believe from the preliminary assessment that there may have been an underlying medical condition which predisposed the eventual outcome.”