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Baby Simeon’s family looking at second autopsy

Friday, March 14, 2014

The family of baby Simeon says they are willing to have a second autopsy performed on the seven-month-two-week-old infant if they believe the findings in the final autopsy report are tainted. The report, which will include a detailed account of the cause of death, is expected to be handed over to the family today. In a telephone interview yesterday the baby’s father, Emil Millington, said his decision to get a second opinion came from his belief that “anything is expected,” especially when it came to getting justice. “I expect them (hospital authorities) to do and say anything right now. If we believe there is any doubt in the final autopsy report, then we would want to do another one,” Millington said.


He said every day he had to deal with a new issue arising from his baby’s death and that was adding undue stress and grief to his family. “In my time of weakness, is only God holding me. I will say that this had to happen for the madness at Mt Hope to come to an end,” Millington added. On the funeral arrangements, he said thats could not be put in place until the family was satisfied with the results. Millington’s wife, Quelly Ann Cottle, 38, went to the Mt Hope Women’s Hospital on Carnival Saturday to have a C-section operation performed. During the operation the baby’s head was cut, resulting in his death. The doctor who did the surgery has since been suspended with basic pay. 


UWI can’t dictate—AG
The Faculty of Medical Sciences at the University of the West Indies, St Augustine, cannot dictate the outcome of an investigation, its findings and recommendations, as that is a matter for an independent committee to decide.So said Attorney General Anand Ramlogan yesterday in wake of a press release issued from UWI. UWI said in the last two years alone, the doctor in question, a registrar, had done over 100 successful C-sections at the Mt Hope Maternity Hospital, including some in high-risk pregnancies. The release added that the on-call consultant was available but was not asked to attend the surgery. The other consultant was on pre-approved leave, of which the North Central Regional Health Authority (NCRHA) was aware. 
Saying he would do all that was possible to ensure the investigation was fair and transparent, Ramlogan added: “I hold no brief for anyone, so let the chips fall where they may.  There are no sacred cows that will be protected and the full weight of the law will be brought to bear on the findings if necessary.”


He said in issuing such a release UWI was not wrong to make its position known, as it was recognised for producing some very good doctors. “I therefore take it that UWI is speaking in a general way, as it cannot hypothetically pronounce on the specific issues concerning the patient management and care for the patient in a vacuum,” he said. Probe to go on—Fuad Health Minister Dr Fuad Khan, who also said UWI was free to issue whatever release it wanted, assured that in no way would that affect the independent probe and the possible consequences. “I am waiting on the outcome of the independent investigation. I have already put things in place, so people could say and send out whatever release they want. “If an independent investigation is going forward, nobody, absolutely nobody, should have made any utterances,” Khan added. 


The NCRHA’s chairman Dr Shehenaz Mohammed said it was unfortunate the NCRHA had received no communication from UWI when the NCRHA wrote to its dean Prof Samuel Ramsawak, an obstetrician and gynaecologist. The NCRHA wrote to UWI asking for two consultants who were absent during Cottle’s surgery to co-operate with the NCRHA during the probe.  
Mohammed said she wrote to UWI again on Wednesday but to date there had been no response.She added: “UWI has not communicated during this entire time and therefore UWI has not been able to avail themselves of pertinent information, clinical notes and staff reports on the matter produced by the NCRHA. “It confuses me that UWI can draw a conclusion when the NCRHA maintains that the facts concerned warrant an independent investigation and I will be supporting the minister in this regard. “The NCRHA is also maintaining its stance that we are requesting UWI to co-operate in this matter,” Mohammed added. 


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