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Mom sent home with dead foetus

Published: 
Friday, March 21, 2014
A distraught Tahia Jordan at her home in Trou Macaque, Laventille, yesterday. Jordan was sent home from the Port-of-Spain General Hospital with the foetus (inset) doctors removed from her womb after she suffered a miscarriage on Tuesday. Photo: MICHEAL BRUCE

A 23-year-old mother of one who suffered a miscarriage was seeking answers yesterday after she returned home to find the dead foetus inside a black plastic bag among the clothing she took back home from the Port-of-Spain General Hospital (PoSGH). Speaking with the media at her Trou Macaque, Laventille, home yesterday, Tahia Jordan said she felt a sharp pain in her lower back while at work at Rituals Coffee House, Maraval, and later felt “something came out of her.” Jordan said she was unaware that she was 20 weeks pregnant and thought she was suffering regular pain associated with her menstrual cycle at the time. She said she was taken to the PoSGH’s Casualty Department where she was attended to before being warded. Jordan said she was later allowed to see the foetus and was told that it was a boy, adding the pregnancy was her third and the miscarriage her second. 

However, Jordan said after being discharged yesterday she returned home and was unpacking her bag when she asked her mother to assist in washing her messy clothing. She said she saw the black plastic bag and thought it was the bloodied uniform she was wearing when she miscarried. But after opening the bag, Jordan said she was horrified to see her dead foetus wrapped up in an incopad (a piece of cotton and plastic material used at hospitals). “I get a little scent and saw the bloody cloth (incopad) and get frightened and I begin to cry when I see it,” Jordan said. 
She said she was not sure what to do and turned to her mother for help. In a brief telephone interview yesterday, Minister of Health Dr Fuad Khan said he had heard about the incident and ordered an immediate report into the case. He said the protocol in cases of miscarriages was that the patient is given counselling and is monitored for as little as 24 hours. He added that whether the parents wanted to bury the child or allow the hospital to do so was up to them.

Also commenting on the issue, chief executive officer of the North West Regional Health Authority, Judith Baliram, said it was clear that there was a breach of protocol. “Clearly protocol was not followed and that has an adverse effect on the image of the hospital. But I am really, really sorry for what happened to her, because this is a traumatic experience that the mother would have gone through,” Baliram said. Baliram said the incident was very unusual and that she was disturbed by what had happened.  She said Jordan was visited by the hospital staff and the foetus was taken away, adding that if the parents wanted to bury the foetus the hospital would assist. She added that the matter was being investigated and a report would be delivered to Khan. This latest incident comes one day after Quelly Ann Cottle buried her baby Simeon, who died after being sliced on the head during a C-section on March 1 at the Mt Hope Women’s Hospital. (JL)