By Leroy Smith
A midwife at the Woodlands Hospital is being accused of negligence by a young couple after she prematurely determined the fate of their unborn child on Monday night.
21-year-old Jermaine Samuels and his reputed wife 20-year-old Tamera Leslie 20, of Lot 53 Bent Street Wortmanville want a thorough investigation into the death of their baby.
The couple wants the Ministry of Health and the Guyana Medical Council to investigate the death of their baby and the conduct of the health care workers at the Woodlands Hospital.
Tamera Leslie, a teacher at Smith’s Memorial Primary School told BIG Smith News Watch, that from the inception, the midwife who delivered her in a substitute delivery room showed no interest in keeping her firstborn alive.
She told this publication that she was enrolled in the Lodge clinic but two weeks ago went and got an ultrasound and was told her baby was ok. On Monday evening she began feeling pain and requested to be taken to hospital and their first stop was at the Georgetown Public Hospital.
“We went at maternity and they sent us back to A &E where the security, although I told him I am feeling pain… still had me sitting on the bench. This is my first pregnancy and I was not aware that I was in labor so I came out to mom and I said I am feeling too much pain to be here and went over to Woodlands Hospital” Leslie told BIG Smith News Watch.
She said that the process of getting to see a doctor took longer than she believes an expectant mother in her condition should wait. Eventually, her mother took over the paperwork while she was seen by a nurse.
“A nurse came and test the pressure and then a doctor came in the room and asked me a few questions. By then I was feeling contractions. They took me into a room downstairs (not the delivery room) and they said since I am already in active labor I can’t make it to get upstairs” the woman explained to this publication.
The young mother said the midwife then came and began attending to her but first asked some questions which according to Leslie, set the tone for the level of unprofessional care and attention the midwife would give to her and the baby and which she [Leslie] described as below normal standards.
“She said the membrane is in order and everything ok but the baby’s head is down. Apparently, the Mucus Plug was already out when I was at home but I don’t know about these things, this is my first time. I was not aware of it so she asked how many months I am at and I said six months and she said ok we will have to clip the water bag to get the baby out but the baby will not live…. she ain’t give no other options… she just said the baby will not live” Leslie explained.
It was at that point that the contractions began taking place more frequently and with added pain. She said the midwife continued to encourage her to push and at one point, she said she felt as if the baby was going back up and the midwife inserted her fingers, repositioned the baby, and told her to keep pushing… the baby eventually came.
“The baby was breathing and moving you seeing the baby breathing because I was seeing the rib cage going in and out. She put it in a blue blanket thing while the baby was still breathing and roll the baby up in it and say it’s a girl, she is dead and we don’t keep the dead babies so you will have to take it home.” The young mother recalled.
“I left so stupid and baffled because how can you wrap up a breathing baby to discard of it and tell the mother who is seeing her baby breathing, that the baby is dead? She did not even do anything with that baby when it came out, she suffocated my baby. Tamera Leslie suggested
The young mother believes her baby could have been alive had the midwife and her assistant took the situation more seriously and understood that they were dealing with two lives that they needed to preserve.
Leslie said that when she inquired about putting the baby into the incubator but she was asked if she could afford that.. “she then tells me she doesn’t think I can afford that” all of this she told me while the baby is still lying there breathing. Leslie recalled.
“Her phone was ringing at the same time so it confused me, the persons on the other line asking her what time to pick her up. All the while she was doing that, my baby was there breathing and could have gone in the incubator but you see, this is my first pregnancy and I was not sure what to do and her presence on the phone also had me confused No other option she ain’t give me, no other options” A distressed Tamera Leslie recalled
She said nurses at the Georgetown Public Hospital where she went to get a cleanout after the delivery noted that the baby could have gone into an incubator.
BIG Smith News Watch reached out to the hospital on two occasions on Tuesday for a comment on the development. Our first call was placed at 4:42 PM and again 6:55 PM but was unable to make contact with Mr: Deonarine Memraj who is said to be the administrator of Woodlands Hospital. We were able to confirm that he did receive our message seeking a response on the infant death but did not reach out back to this publication.
Contact was then made with Dr. Narine Singh at the Ministry of Health where we were informed that any maternal or infant deaths must be reported to the ministry within 24 hours.
Up to late on Tuesday evening, Woodlands did not report the infant death to the Ministry. Further checks with Dr. Singh on Wednesday morning saw him again confirming that the Ministry of Health received no report from Woodlands Hospital about the infant death on Monday night, a clear breach of the standing procedures.