Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : April 30th 2015 Contents A6
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Thursday, April 30, 2015
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AND GEISHA KOWLESSAR
The mother of baby Sajjid Ram-
persad says although she does not
believe the findings of an autopsy
done yesterday on his tiny body
she will not be requesting a second
Sheriffa Ali, 34, was responding
to comments made by Health Min-
ister Dr Fuad Khan during a press
conference yesterday on the autopsy
of her 12-day-old son.
Khan told the media that the
autopsy on baby Sajjid showed he
would not have survived long after
birth as there was a large amount
of fluid in his brain.
"He saying that but I know to
myself for a fact that my baby did
not have problems before they
induced labour," said a distraught
Ali. "If he had that problem, how
could he move about so much dur-
ing the pregnancy?" she asked.
She has placed the blame for
Sajjid s death on nurses and doctors
in the labour ward at the San Fer-
nando General Hospital.
She had previously said doctors
refused her repeated request for a
caesarean section (C-section) to be
performed after she failed to go into
labour after spending three days in
She was hospitalised on April 12
on the advice of doctors who want-
ed to deliver her baby two weeks
early. On April 13 she was given
labour-inducing medication but
did not give birth until April 15.
When her son was born, doctors
whisked him away and Ali said she
was not told of his condition until
she demanded answers from hos-
pital staff. She added; "They took
too long to take him out. This is
their fault. I would have had my
baby with me all now... the doctors
and nurses in the labour ward have
to take the blame for this." When
asked if she and her husband Suresh
were contemplating having a second
autopsy done, she replied: "I know
that was not what caused him to
die but you can t fight the doctors
and right now we just not up to
asking for a second autopsy."
She will lay her son to rest
tomorrow at Guide s Funeral Home,
San Fernando, in a private cere-
"I just want to put my son s body
to rest. There is nothing anyone
can do now to bring him back."
Baby could not be saved---Khan
Baby Sajjid Suresh Rampersad
would have died eventually because
there was a large amount of fluid
in his brain.
Those were the findings of an
autopsy which were revealed by
Health Minister Dr Fuad Khan dur-
ing a press conference at the min-
istry s head office, Port-of-Spain,
"It was shown that the baby had
congenital hydrocephalus and as a
result the brain in both lobes of
that baby was cystic...full of water
"Difficult delivery does not cause
hydrocephalus. As a result, maybe
a cesarian or otherwise, that baby
would have succumbed as an infant
mortality statistic," Khan said.
Congenital hydrocephalus is a
buildup of excess cerebrospinal fluid
(CSF) in the brain at birth.
Baby Sajjid died 12 days after he
was born with tubes hooked up to
his tiny body at the Neo-Natal
Intensive Care Unit of the San Fer-
nando General Hospital (SFGH).
The baby s mother, Sheriffa Ali,
34, had said she was told there was
a lack of oxygen to the brain. She
said she was told by doctors that
the baby had suffered brain injury
and was deemed brain dead.
Khan, who apologised to Ali, her
husband, Suresh Rampersad, and
to the relatives of mothers and
babies who had also recently died,
said such cases were considered
"medical conditions that do not
respond well to treatment" and as
a result very little could have been
done to save their lives.
Asked if a shunt could have been
placed in baby Sajjid s brain so as
to drain the fluid, Khan said that
would not have helped.
Saying that there was a 90 per
cent success rate at the public hos-
pitals, Khan added: "I want to
assure the population that not only
are we doing our audit systems but
we do investigate every single prob-
lem that occurs.
"The hospital system is safe and
the majority of doctors and nurses
are giving good and proper serv-
Khan said he had also received
reports of patients being verbally
abused by medical and ancillary
staff members and vice-verse.
"There has to be a better
approach to service and relation-
ships between staff and patients in
our health care system," Khan urged.
Autopsy results upset dead baby's mom but says:
You can't fight doctors GEISHA KOWLESSAR
A directive from Health Minister Dr
Fuad Khan that visiting hours at public
hospitals be extended from 7 am to
Monday to Friday and from 3 pm to
6.30 pm on weekends and public hol-
idays is not meeting favour with the
T&T Registered Nurses Association.
During a press conference at the min-
istry s Port-of-Spain head office yes-
terday, Khan said the changes would
take effect from tomorrow.
But association president Gwendolyn
Loobie-Snaggs said Khan did not consult
the association, adding that such a
measure would be impractical.
Loobie-Snaggs, who was also present
at yesterday s press conference, said:
"Two hours before the press conference
we spoke on several issues and the issue
of new visiting hours was not brought
up so when I heard the minister make
the announcement I was very much
"At 7 am is time nurses change the
shift. When you taking over and you
are talking to patients you don t want
everybody hear your business because
that is exactly what will happen as there
will be no privacy. "At 7 am all the major
activities take place, like when we are
preparing the patients for procedures
and when there is cleaning of the wards
so nurses will be very much annoyed
by the minister s decision."
Loobie-Snaggs said the association
also had a problem with relatives clean-
ing patients as instructed by Khan.
"We don t have a problem with rel-
atives bringing food but again this has
to be done with consultation with the
"Hygiene is one of the functions of
the nursing staff. It is not just bathing
but also making observations about the
patient s body," Loobie-Snaggs added.
She said the issue of fathers in the
delivery rooms was also impractical.
"Fathers at present can be in the deliv-
ery rooms at Port-of-Spain General
Hospital but only if they had completed
lamaze classes," Loobie-Snaggs said.
Making it clear that she was not
against Khan s initiatives, she said:
"While the efforts of the minister are
commendable they are impractical. We
have to be realistic because these cannot
warrant immediate implementation."
• In cases where the patient is warded in a
sexually sensitive area (OB-GYN or urology),
one relative of the same sex is allowed to
stay with the patient on a 24-hour basis.
• Fathers will be allowed in the delivery
• Family members will be allowed to bring
personal necessities to patients that will
make the patients more comfortable.
These include pillows, blankets, bed sheets,
towels, toiletries and electronic devices, once
they do not disrupt or disturb other patients.
Any food items brought onto the wards must
be cleared with the nurse or doctor in charge.
• Families of patients will be allowed to
assist the nursing fraternity in the general
hygiene of the patient.
• The patients and relatives of patients are
informed that once they are able to produce
evidence of, or a witness statement of an
offending situation, that is a situation where
someone under the care of a public health
institution or their representative is unfairly
or poorly treated, they can submit a report
with supporting evidence to
• An office of the health ombudsman will
be established to review these matters in
accordance with the 2007 Gladys Gafoor
CHANGES TO TAKE EFFECT FROM TOMORROW
Nurses object to hospitals'
visiting hours extension
Sheriffa Ali, 34, and her husband,
Suresh Rampersad, await the
autopsy results on their 12-day-
old baby at the San Fernando
General Hospital yesterday.
PHOTO: KRISTIAN DE SILVA
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