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Husband demands answers as oxygen machine blamed for mom’s death
The unsatisfactory answers being provided following the unexplained death of Kaveta Singh who died hours after giving birth via Caesarean Section three weeks ago have led to claims of a cover-up at the Maternity Hospital at the Eric Williams Medical Sciences Complex, Mount Hope. It is understood the medical file listing details of her treatment and condition has been locked away by the authorities. Her family says attempts to get answers about the death of the 32-year-old Singh have all failed. However, they said they have in their possession a voice recording of the doctors who performed the surgery on Singh recounting what happened on January 2. Singh, a mother of five who lived at Riverside Road, Curepe, was admitted to the hospital a week before she was expected to give birth after she began experiencing labour pains. Doctors decided it would be in her best interest to perform a C-Section, her third. At 2.36 pm baby Elijah was born but six minutes after, the young mother was pronounced dead leaving behind her newborn baby and her four other children, aged between 12 and one.
How did Kaveta Singh die?
What went wrong remains a mystery. Singh’s death certificate lists the cause of death as “cardiac arrest,” indicating evaluations are still being done on whether hypoxia also contributed to her death. Hypoxia is defined as an inadequate oxygen supply to the cells and tissues of the body.
An excerpt of the voice recording obtained by the T&T Guardian has raised other questions apart from what caused her death. What was revealed when Singh’s common-law husband Richard Friday was told of her unexpected death is troubling.
Unaware Friday was recording the meeting, a doctor told him: “The fact I am here is that something unfortunate has happened in the surgery and it resulted in the death of your wife. The baby, however, is OK. “Up until the baby was delivered everything was all right but something went wrong so we had to stop the surgery to look after her. The surgery was stopped. Something went wrong with the machine. “At this point in time we cannot tell what happened. Nothing was wrong with the surgery, everything was normal. We saw something went wrong with the machine and we had to stop the surgery.
“When her heart stopped we did everything to bring her back. We resuscitated her for more than one hour. We did everything to bring her back.” Investigations revealed the oxygen machine may have malfunctioned. The T&T Guardian learned after Singh’s death, the manufacturer was called in to test the machine. So far, hospital sources revealed, two tests have been done but nothing irregular was found. A directive has since been given for an independent test to be done on the machine.
Questions also are being asked as to why no senior consultants were present during the surgery. A hospital source said: “A C-Section is a serious surgery. The mere fact a patient is having a third C-Section (means) that patient is classified as a high-risk. “It is totally unacceptable that not a single senior consultant was present for that surgery.”
‘I want justice for my wife’s death not milk.’
Singh’s husband is vowing to get justice for his wife’s death. He said the three boxes of Enfamil baby formula given to him since his wife died cannot compensate him for the loss. Friday said he is haunted by the final words his wife said to him in a telephone conversation at 1 pm. “My wife called me crying. She was very hysterical and told me to come right away because she was going to undergo an emergency C-Section,” he said. Friday said he immediately left his workplace in Port-of-Spain and headed to the hospital.
“I arrived at the hospital at 2.45 pm and immediately inquired where was my wife. Over and over again I was told to have a seat, she is in surgery. “When I realised that time was passing and no one was saying anything about my wife, I started to demand answers.
“My son was born at 2.36 pm and Kaveta died minutes later. Imagine, since I arrived my wife had died and nobody told me anything until about two hours after. “Every week they call and tell me come for baby formula but I am not going to accept this at all. Somebody is responsible for her death and I would not sleep until I get justice for her,” Friday said, fighting back tears.
Minister: I am awaiting a report
Commenting on the matter over the weekend, Health Minister Dr Fuad Khan told the T&T Guardian he was waiting for a report on the matter. He added: “I was told that a report will be submitted to me soon. Only when I receive it then I will be able to know if and what action should be taken. I cannot act until I get the report in my hand.”
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