Parents believe poor medical care caused son’s death

The distressed parents of Stephon Hope who died at the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation (GPHC) is claiming that inadequate medical care contributed to their 13-year-old son’s death.

Lately, the GPHC has come in for much criticism from other patients who shared their story and those who complained of the lack of proper services.
The father, Cyril Hope, said that his son was hospitalised for three weeks last December because he was diagnosed with leukemia. He was given blood and plasma and some other medication.
His condition improved so he was discharged and was asked to return on January 17.
“When he turned up he was given iron tablets and another date in June,” Cyril said.
He added that two weeks later, the symptoms returned and his son was taken to the Accident and Emergency Ward on January 31, and was admitted into the Pediatric Ward.
He was placed in a room at the back with an IV line placed in his hand. This line was removed on the Monday morning.
The father said that when the female doctor came to the ward she was told about the child’s condition. He said that he indicated to her that the IV line came out and that he wasn’t eating.
“She ordered that the tube be replaced so that the saline can continue and he be given plasma. Dr Salim succeeded in replacing the IV line but movement by the child cause the line to slip out.
He became annoyed and refused to insert it again and left. No one else administered any other treatment,” Cyril said.
According the mother, Simone Hope, later that evening, Dr. Salim returned and was begged by her husband to reinsert the IV line but he was unsuccessful. The doctor promised to get someone to handle it. However, he never returned and no one else came.
She explained that another doctor visited the ward and enquired about the condition of the child and the IV line was successfully inserted.
However, when the laboratory technicians were taking a blood sample the line came out again.
“He ordered a “cut-down” since the child’s hand was swollen and no vein could be found. After careful examination of his mouth the doctor diagnosed that platelets were needed but was informed by an intern that plasma was ordered. An argument ensued and the doctor insisted that platelets were needed,” Simone said.
The father explained that Dr Bowman examined the child and on being unsuccessful in finding a vein, he also ordered a “cut-down”. Immediately it was done and treatment began.
On coming out of anesthesia, the child was experiencing severe pain and bleeding from the “cut-down”.
Simone revealed that she was informed that her son was given an injection by a nurse to help him sleep.
“On closer examination it was observed that the child was breathing very heavily and I went to get the nurse. The nurse accompanied me back to the room and told us to rest, that he will be okay.”
She added she and her husband took positions nearby and went to sleep. They were awakened by a nurse who told her husband that their son was not breathing. Mr Hope went over and laid his head on his chest to confirm; by which time a team comprising of one doctor and two nurses tried to administer oxygen.
The grieving mother further said, “The doctor then examined him and said to my husband “sorry for your loss.”
“His chart was sent to the registry but we requested an autopsy to be performed. The findings of the autopsy did not confirm the cause of death. Samples were taken and we were promised the results within two to three weeks.”
The father revealed that upon visiting the administration of the GPHC for the second time for a proper response of their son’s cause of death he was told that investigations are still being done and he should return in two months.
The parents are asking for a proper investigation into the matter so that they can find closure.
When Director of Medical and Professional Services, Madan Rambaran, was contacted he said that the post mortem was indeterminate and specimens were taken for further tests to be done in requirements of the Pathologist.

Saturday, February 20, 2010