Death of teacher at GPHC: Hospital says will “act swiftly” where action is required

The Management of the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation (GPHC) has promised that it will act swiftly where action is required into the death of Shonnata Sawh.

Dead: Shonnata Sawh

Sawh, a teacher attached to Mon Repos Nursery School, East Coast Demerara (ECD), died at the health facility after undergoing surgery for gallstone removal, which is medically known as cholecystectomy. However, she died on Friday.
Following media reports of the woman’s demise and her family’s accusations that she died as a result of negligence in the post-op care at the medical facility, the hospital said on Monday that it has launched an investigation.
“…we immediately launched an investigation to ascertain the facts surrounding the patient’s care and subsequent death. A careful review of the timelines in the patient’s records indicate that the patient was admitted on Tuesday, November 15, 2022, for the elective procedure with underlying morbidities which her team ascertained were sufficiently controlled to allow medical clearance for the procedure,” the hospital said in a statement.
According to the statement, on Wednesday, November 16, Shaw underwent “what was described as an uneventful surgery, recovered from anaesthesia, and was transferred to the wards for further recovery as per standard operating procedure. On Thursday, November 17, 2022, the patient’s condition started to deteriorate to the point where ICU care was required. Subsequently, while receiving care in the ICU the patient succumbed on Friday, November 18, 2022.”

Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation

It noted that while the facility did not want to divulge the specifics of the patient’s diagnosis and medical management, “we are committed to a thorough investigation; where action is required, we are committed to act swiftly on those recommendations of that investigation. Additionally, we remain committed to providing any support and information to the family of Ms Shaw as they mourn her unfortunate loss.”
Shaw’s family lashed out at the hospital staff, accusing them of negligence while noting that despite billions being spent by Government, proper healthcare is not being provided by the nursing staff.
“The GOG is pouring billions and billions into health care – new facilities, new equipment, new specialisations for doctors yet someone who had no kidney issues go in to do gallstone operations and dies of renal failure,” a cousin of the dead woman said.
She added, “None of the investment will help if we have nurses who are neglecting patient care, and if we have systems that are not being updated to respond to these failures. If people are not held accountable for this death caused by Negligence.”
“…she did not have to die – with the investments that are being made, by our government … this was an unnecessary death of a woman who was a proud educator…, but she died because those who are responsible for continuously monitoring patients and escalating issues never did their job,” the grieving woman expressed.