Trinidad: Another Grieving Mom Claims Negligence

(TRINIDAD EXPRESS) – Another pre-action protocol letter accusing the North West Regional Health Authority (NWRHA) of medical negligence has been issued by Freedom Law Chambers, this time on behalf of a Tobago mother whose baby died as a result of a bacterial outbreak.

The letter dated April 14, 2024, addressed to the NWRHA chief executive officer, was issued by Freedom Law Chambers, headed by former AG Anand Ramlogan SC, on behalf of Shirese Moore-Beckles, 36, whose baby Crystell Precious Miracle died at the Port of Spain General Hospital (PoSGH).

The letter stated that Moore-Beckles was admitted to Scarborough General Hospital on February 15, 2024, as her water bag had ruptured and she was experiencing abdominal pains.

It added that she stayed at the hospital for approximately one month until reaching the 26-week term.

On March 13, 2024, she was transferred by helicopter to the PoSGH and was admitted to the antenatal ward in Unit D.

The letter stated that the baby was observed by her mother to be healthy despite being born prematurely and she was advised by hospital staff that her baby was doing well.

It said at no point in time did any medical personnel inform the mother about the possibility of an infection affecting her baby.

Resuscitated multiple times

According to the pre-action letter, it was only on April 5, 2024 there was worry when the baby required a blood transfusion as her blood count was low. It stated that on April 6, Moore-Beckles visited the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) and noticed men wearing white hazmat suits, causing her concern but she was asked to return to her bed as she was assured everything was fine.

The letter added that she returned to check on her baby and a doctor disclosed to her that the previous night, on April 5, 2024, the baby had experienced significant distress and had to be resuscitated multiple times.

“Throughout this distressing ordeal, there was no mention of a potential infection. Our client remained under the mistaken impression that her baby’s deteriorating health was solely attributable to prematurity,” stated the letter.

It disclosed that the baby died on April 6, 2024.

The letter stated that the staff and/or agents of the NWRHA were negligent in that they:

a. Failed to provide adequate communication regarding the baby’s deteriorating condition

b. Failed to adequately monitor the baby and respond promptly to signs of distress

c. Failed to be transparent regarding the baby’s medical status

d. Failed to provide accurate and complete information about the baby’s condition to the mother;

e. Failed to provide a clean, safe, and sanitised environment in the NICU,

f. Failed to take the necessary steps to ensure that the NICU was bacteria-free knowing that only high-risk babies are admitted there.

g. Failed to properly adhere to and maintain industry standards of a NICU unit.

h. Failed to recognise that a baby with an infection was in the NICU and it ought to have been adequately sanitised.

i. Failed in all circumstances to protect a delicate newborn baby.

j. Failed in all circumstances to prevent the death of baby Crystelle Precious Miracle.