Young mother seeking answers after baby dies 2 days post-delivery

…no evidence of negligence – doctor

The life of a mother is never the same after she loses a child. There is a certain level of darkness that envelops her existence as she mourns the death of that precious tiny being that she carried and nurtured inside of her for nine months. She loses a piece of her heart and quite often loses part of her existence.

Devi Balram’s baby girl with an oxygen mask at the private city hospital
Devi Balram and her husband, Shiva Warner, sharing a joyful moment in expectance of their child

Feeling that sense of loss is Devi Balram, a young mother who recently lost her child after delivery at a popular private city hospital. This loss has led the family on a path to seek answers since the hospital’s authorities are not providing them.
It was during the Christmas holiday season that Balram found out that she was pregnant. She immediately started to glow and life began to revolve around her as she was now nurturing another being inside of her. The family began paying extra attention to her and they dealt with every morning sickness symptom, every craving and ensured that every doctor visit was completed.
They were very excited about the arrival of the newest member of their family. The pregnancy was normal with little to no known complications. The doctors had determined that her delivery would have been smooth because the baby appeared to be normal and the mother was in fine health.
However, life dealt Balram and her husband, Shiva Warner, a deadly blow. One that they never thought they would have been on the receiving end of.
On August 4, the young mother was at her Good Hope, East Coast Demerara home going about her daily routine when she began to feel some level of pain. She immediately alerted relatives, who prepped and transported her to a popular Georgetown private institution so that she could deliver her baby.
The decision to use the private hospital was made because the family felt that Balram would have received a higher level of care as opposed to the public hospital. Also, they were somewhat worried because of the stories they heard coming from the public hospital. They decided to spare no expense so that the baby could have the best possible entrance into the world.
After she arrived at the hospital on the morning of August 4, she was examined and admitted since the doctors determined that she was in labour. A short while after she was admitted, a senior doctor at the institution proceeded to rupture the amniotic sac to release the fluid and get the birthing process started.
“They checked me to see if I was open and they said yes it was open and I was supposed to get the baby Sunday…I was there in pains with contractions,” she said.
Balram was in labour for a few hours and in immense pain. She pleaded with the doctors for some relief and it came to her in the form of an injection and that is where the family believes that things went downhill. The nurses and midwives continued to monitor the mother and the child during the delivery process and both heartbeats and blood pressure were normal.
Following the injection, Balram explained that she was encouraged to push as midwives pressed her tummy to aid the delivery. However, her baby was stuck in her birthing canal for some 25 minutes.
“About two hours after she said the baby was about to come and them start to instruct me and tell me when to push because I wasn’t really feeling pain but when the baby was coming I was feeling the pressure. I was pushing to my best effort while they were instructing me and I don’t know, the baby got stuck and they were giving me confidence like she will be there soon, keep pushing but I didn’t realise the time that she was stuck there. After the last push, she slit me and the baby came out,” she explained.
After she delivered her daughter, Balram knew something was amiss but she was too exhausted and trusted her healthcare providers to ensure that her baby was safe. The baby was not crying and Balram became very eager.
The doctors told her that the baby came out “blue” which indicated a lack of oxygen. She became very worried. The young woman immediately broke down and requested to see the child on August 5.
Relatives who were present at the hospital and know what transpired after the birth process told this publication that the child was given oxygen with an adult mask.
Balram’s daughter took her last breath sometime around 00:00h on August 6.
Documents seen by Guyana Times state that the child died from intestinal bleeding and cardiac arrest. The family believes that the baby’s death was as a result of negligence.
Although this may be the case, Balram’s grandmother, Juliet Coonjah, the Regional Vice-Chairperson for Region Two (Pomeroon-Supenaam) said they have been waiting for over one week for a response by the hospital. In addition, they said they were made to foot the entire bill and no compensation was offered.

No negligence
Although relatives of the mourning mother are contending that a caesarian section (C-section) should have been performed on the young woman to avoid the infant being trapped in her mother’s passage for such a long time, a senior doctor at the institution has claimed that the baby’s death was not as a result of negligence.
In an interview with this publication on Monday, the doctor explained, “We did an investigation and there was no evidence to suggest there was negligence”. When asked about the injection that family members claimed was wrongly administered, he responded, “They can claim whatever they want to claim but the hospital has done its internal investigation and we found there was no evidence of negligence on the part of the doctor nor the nurses,” the doctor said. (Davina Ramdass)