Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : August 14th 2013 Contents MELISSA DOUGHTY
Silika Jacob, a 23-year-old mother of
Lowlands, Tobago, is seeking answers from
medical professionals at the Scarborough
Hospital, after her newborn baby daughter
Kevisha suffered what appears to be burns
to her right hand days after birth at the
Officials, however, have been unable to
explain what happened.
Jacob first appeared on CNC3's Crime
Watch programme on Monday to highlight
In an interview with the T&T Guardian
yesterday, Jacob said she was told by medical
professionals at the hospital, after Kevisha's
birth on July 18, that she had a breathing
problem and was in an incubator.
She said she then saw a bandage on the
child's hand, asked about it and was told
that it was a "swelling." She said was not
told exactly what caused the swelling, but
was told not to "interfere with it" because
it might become infected.
Jacob said approximately 12 days after
the bandages were removed from the child's
hand, she saw what she described as a burn.
When she asked about it, she said, no
one was able to give her an answer. She said
she was then told to pack her belongings
as she was being sent to the Eric Williams
Medical Sciences Complex (EWMSC) in
Trinidad. She said she spent a night at
EWMSC and was then sent to the San Fer-
nando General Hospital. At San Fernando,
she said, the child's hand was dressed again
and then she was sent back to Tobago.
She said upon her return to Tobago she
visited nurses at the Bethel Health Centre
to get the child's hand dressed and was told
the procedure could not be done because
there was no water. She then visited the
Canaan Health Centre and was told it was
not dressing day for babies. Buccoo Health
Centre, she said, eventually assisted her
with the dressing.
Jacob said when she asked what caused
the injury to the child's hand she was told
by a medical professional that she was unable
to give information. When she asked for
the names of the doctors involved in the
delivery, by C-section, she was told she
could not get that information, she said.
Jacob said she had been paying for the
constant travel between Trinidad and Tobago
since then to ensure her daughter got proper
treatment on the hand.
Medical documents provided to the T&T
Guardian by Jacob showed the child was
admitted to the Tobago hospital on July 24.
It gave the diagnosis of the injury as an "IV
burn to dorsum." The dorsum is the back
of the hand.
Attempts to contact officials at the Scar-
borough Hospital were unsuccessful yes-
terday. The T&T Guardian was told to con-
tact the CEO today to speak on the matter.
Contacted yesterday, however, Health
Minister Dr Fuad Khan said although he
had not seen the report, nor was he aware
of the incident, what had most likely
occurred was what is defined in medicine
as an extrusion of fluid when an IV device
is placed in a vein. He said it happened to
adults as well as children.
Khan said the extravascular extrusion of
IV fluids can cause the area around the nee-
dle to have an inflammatory response as a
result of the foreign fluid. The body reacts,
he said, by walling it off and pushing it out
through the skin. This, he said, took a while
to heal, especially in a baby's hand.
Khan said, in most instances such as
these, it was not usually a case of negligence.
He said he would like medical profes-
sionals, in cases such as these, where people
feel wronged, to explain thoroughly what
Customer service and explanation, he
said, cost nothing, adding that he has been
trying to instill that throughout the health-
Khan said he believed this was an example
where it was needed. He said, however, that
there were some doctors and nurses quite
good at explanations and service to patients.
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From page A1
After a 21-day hunger strike last year outside the
Persad-Bissessar's office, Kublalsingh's group was
promised that an independent review would be
conducted, headed by Independent senator Dr James
The result of that review was a report which
showed negative effects to the construction of the
Debe to Mon Desir section of the Solomon Hochoy
Highway extension to Point Fortin, estimated to
cost $7.2 billion.
Kublalsingh, in an interview yesterday, said their
latest protest was to get Persad-Bissessar to answer
"Firstly, is she going to abide by the findings of
the Armstrong report and secondly, is she going to
await the court decision with respect to Debe and
The group's latest action was sparked after Nidco
announced last week that it intended to go ahead
with the disputed Debe to Mon Desir leg of the
highway despite the fact that the matter was before
Kublalsingh was told by police on Monday that
if he were to go with placards and distribute infor-
mation yesterday he could be arrested. But although
the protesters were approached by police yesterday
and told that they were violating the law, no arrests
"We told them that if we were violating the law,
then they were free to carry out their duty," Kublals-
ingh told the media of the police's presence and
lack of action against them yesterday.
Leader of the Movement for Social Justice (MSJ)
David Abdulah also visited the protest site yesterday
and stood "in solidarity" with Kublalsingh. He said
he had disagreed with the construction of the high-
way from the start.
Abdulah also said Persad-Bissessar had "mam-
aguyed" the population with the Armstrong report.
"To ignore the findings (of the Armstrong report)
is a demonstration of woefully bad governance. To
ignore these findings would be tantamount to mam-
aguying the people," he said.
He said it seemed the matter of setting up the
committee was simply a public relations strategy
to get Kublalsingh to end his hunger strike last year.
One member of the HRM, Kumar Samlal, stated
his intention yesterday to set up a camp at Gopee
Trace in Mon Desir from today, to monitor equip-
ment that had been transported to the area.
Wednesday, August 14, 2013 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
Mom gets runaround from medics after
for 13th AUGUST, 2013
burnt on hand
Silika Jacobs, inset, at the Guardian's Port-of-Spain office Monday. Her newborn baby
Kevisha suffered what appears to be burns on her right hand. PHOTO: KEARRA GOPEE
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