Guyana Daily News spoke to 35 year old Olive Correia Jacobs of Bartica who related a horrific story of how doctors and staffers at the Georgetown Public Hospital treated her during her delivery of her baby that subsequently died.
Mrs. Jacobs, in relating her ordeal, said she was healthy throughout her pregnancy, with all normal baby symptoms. On the 5th July, 2018 she checked in at the Bartica Regional Hospital and after some time there, the doctors there said her cervix had expanded only “4cm” and that she needs to be transferred to the Georgetown Public Hospital because the theater was not working at Bartica Hospital, also because it was her first child and her age had a factor as well. “This they (Bartica Hospital) should have mentioned many weeks ago, as I would have made plans to deliver my baby at a private hospital, at 37 weeks I was told that my baby was very big,” Jacobs said. She then enquired if a C-Section was an option for her, but, was told she would have had a normal delivery, as there is enough time.
The tearful woman explained to Guyana Daily News that she kept questioning the staff at the Bartica Hospital, if she would be able to deliver her baby normal, since she is over 39 weeks pregnant and that if there would be any reason she would not be able to deliver her baby in Bartica, Mrs. Olive said she was assured she could have done so. Mrs. Jacobs was then transported via speedboat in rough waters to the city.
“We arrived at Parika where an ambulance was awaiting us to take us to the hospital, I was handed over to the desk by midwife “Abigail” and she left while I was waiting to give my information to be admitted.” She said.
“I gave my information, my vital signs were checked, and I was sent to be examine by the doctor, I was told I was 5 cm at that point. I was put into a section just before delivery room. I was attached to a little machine where my baby was monitored and was found to be excellent. I took a shower had something to eat and decided to walk for an hour as I had the strength. I could not sleep because there were noise coming from crying mothers in agonising pain, so I decided to walk for a next hour as I had the strength and though it would be good for delivery. During all this time my tummy was very very very hard and uncomfortable. I was told to relax and get some sleep, which I did,” the woman said.
Mrs. Jabcobs further realte her ordeal and told Daily News that early the next morning 6th July, She was examined and all vital signs checked.
“At that point I was told I’m only 2cm and that everyone that examined me before were incorrect and I was transferred to prenatal section. After 9am that morning two males and one female doctors passed by, I can’t remember all names,” she said.
She said she was questioned and told that a blood team would visit during the day. “I was also asked if I suffer from anxiety, because they were told I was anxious the night before, I told them I had the strength, there were lots of cries coming from mothers in agonising pain and I could not sleep, so I decided to walk as I know it would help in my delivery,” Mrs. Jacobs noted.
Further, “it was after twelve midday that day, no one visited me or checked me or my baby, I saw Dr Rangel, I approached and asked him about the blood team that was supposed to come and see me, he said before the day is out. And they never came,” the teary woman said.
“I was very uncomfortable with my tummy so I started walking again, the place was very hot the bed uncomfortable, I was miserable, I asked to changed beds as the one I was using was not good and gave me more pain. They allowed me to changed beds, I got a little better one, to which I myself moved with my belongings. After 1:00 PM I had something to eat, and my vital signs were checked by two medical personnel, I was fine they said,” Mrs. Jacobs said
She said she took a second shower for the day as the place was hot. She started having fever and was feeling extremely cold.
“I told myself I would try to rest and maybe it would stop. I just could not sleep, no doctor came to check on me, I guess it was after maybe about 15:00hrs, the agonising pain was too much to bear. So I approached a medical personnel and explained how I was feeling, the female doctor from that morning attended to me, I was given two panadol tablets. Vitals were checked and they confirmed I have a fever. I was examined and was told I’m two to three cm. Then they made a phone call, after that call, they decided to clip my water bag and then after that they checked for my baby’s heartbeat. There was no sound, not a beat, nothing. The medical personnel said maybe the machine is not working, I was told to shower even in my agonising pain and a high temperature. But, I told them I had a shower before, they said I had to, anyways, I dragged myself and washed myself off, I wanted to collapse. I was told I’m being transfer to the section before the delivery room. It was my luggage that was put into a wheelchair and I was the one to walk I told the girl, please, I can’t, I need a chair, she said I have to walk, and I need to hurry. Which I really struggled to do, but made it anyway… When I arrived in that section, there was no many medical personnel at my bed after they left me unattended,” the woman said.
She further said, that it was she who had to ask the doctors to do a check to see if the baby’s heartbeat was ok. “Now they decided to check on me and then inform me that my baby was dead,” she related.
She said she was left unattended. My husband tried to get their attention for assistance but without any success for a while, “all this time I was in a soaked bed, my nightwear was soaked, I was in a big mess in extreme pain. I asked for a change of bed, instead the sheet was changed and I thankfully accepted what I got,” she noted.
“All of this was happening with a dead baby inside of me, we begged them to cut me and take the baby out, but was told I have to pushed my dead baby out. I signed for drips to help in the delivery, I could not read that paper, I was in extreme agony physically, emotionally, and mentally, I signed it,” she further related.
“I was left there with my dead baby inside of me, all alone. My baby, who if was given care and attention would have been alive today. The drips came with more terrifying pangs of distress in all forms, it was more than normal delivery pains I was experiencing. I thought I was going to die at this stage, they checked me a few times but ten cm was not there as yet, I beg for a Pethidine pain killer to help me, as my baby would not be affected as she was already dead, the doctor said he would give me three quarter dose, it was a waste of time, I got no relief, I kept telling them the baby is coming, I can’t control the force that was coming any longer, its coming all by itself, they ignored my call for help. I kept crying out for help as I could feel the baby coming out. I tried to control it, I was scared. Finally they decided to come as I would not stop calling for them, the doctor shouted yes she’s fully dilated, she’s full ten cm, I said see, I was calling for help to come and check me ever since and her response, we are here now, I told them I can’t walk to the delivery room, it was not far away, but my pain was extreme, of course they made me walked, I was the patient who had no feelings to them,that’s how they made me feel. I went into that delivery room at 9:50 pm. I came out after 1:00am, It was terrible, I pushed and pushed then a female and a male doctor put a lot of pressure on my tummy, the baby would not come, so they give me a third degree cut. The Baby’s head was out finally, the baby’s shoulder was stucked inside me, finally the baby was out, 8.8 beautiful, fresh, healthy baby girl, dead. No life, no sound, no blink, no nothing, just plain dead beautiful child. They stitched me inside out. If my baby was alive inside of me, with that amount of time Dr Hang and her team took to get that baby out of me,” she said.
Further, “after my baby was out, they took her away, and left me in that messed for a while, I had to wait until they delivered someone else, then they came and cleaned me, I asked for a chair to go at my bed, the nurse said it’s not far, you have to walked so I started walking slowly because of the severe pain I was in and was told to hurry. After 4am, I was awoken by a female staff and was told I have to prepare myself to move to a next section. As there is only one staff on duty on this section, and she’s here to help her, and she have to leave soon. I got up, try to make myself strong and alert. She came back briefly, checked my vital signs and asked if I’m ok, ‘I said yes’, then turned and asked me if I normally wake and be so alert, ‘I told her you said I have to move now’. I finally got a chair and was transferred downstairs to a next section that Saturday morning 7th July, I was released Tuesday 10th July During my time in that section no doctor came to see me to express sympathy, I saw the doctor that was on duty the night of my delivery, I called him, he said he would be back, he never came. While there no medical staff checked to see if my stitch was okay, little did I realized the Monday my outer stitches were opened, I could not physically see it, but as I wipe fresh blood was visible on the tissue. A rash started to appear on my lip, I showed one doctor who said not to worry, it’s nothing, the next day it started spreading at the side of my mouth, both lips and eyelid, and the spots were swollen. A next doctor came and prescribed me something. I was checked by a social worker and Psychiatrist, I think his name is Dr Harry,” she noted.
“After they told me my baby had died, I asked what the cause of death was, they replied they cannot say, they don’t know, on the still birth certificate the medical officer that certify the death wrote she died because of Cardiovascular Arrest with further investigation. On the day of the autopsy we were told they are not going to cut the baby that the baby died because of Sudden Death Syndrome,” she noted.
“My stitches were opened and infected, I went to a private hospital to be attended to. My baby’s clinic card had no written information from the day I arrived to the day I left that hospital. I was given a still birth paper stating I delivered a dead baby and a next paper stating what medication I was given the days after my delivery. What I have just been through shows the lack of professionalism and compassion in the public health system in Guyana. Everyday these people are entrusted with our lives and those of our unborn children. But are they fully trained or qualify to be in such position? The birth of a baby should be a joyous occasion. But in the public health system this is not the case. Many mourn the loss of a baby instead of celebrate it. All because of neglect and very poor attitude by those who profess to be medical professionals, even though no justice will be rendered in this case. We are confident that our God sees and knows all of you who neglected me and cause the death of my beautiful baby girl,” she said.