Women's Issues In Guyana

Patient dies at Georgetown hospital after left unattended for hours

Posted in Health Issues by wiig on May 4, 2008
Tags: , , ,

Stabroek News – May 4, 2008

Pandemonium broke out at the Georgetown Public Hospital (GPH) just before dark yesterday when a patient who had been deemed an emergency case and rushed there from the Leonora Cottage Hospital earlier in the day passed away, after she allegedly did not receive medical attention from the staff on duty.

Dead is 28-year-old Basmattie Balkarran, a mother of three children, of Ruby Backdam, Parika, East Bank Essequibo. Relatives and many others at the hospital loudly voiced their disapproval with the service at the institution and claimed that the woman had been diagnosed at Leonora hospital as being in a critical condition and in need of a higher level of treatment than it could provide.

Balkarran’s sisters and brothers wailed loudly at the hospital. They said their sister had been rushed to Georgetown and arrived at the GPH at 10 am, but had not been attended to until they started complaining and pleading with the nurses to take her into the emergency room some time after 4 pm. The woman died around 6 last evening.  

Contacted for comment on the incident last evening, GPH CEO Michael Khan told Stabroek News that he visited the emergency room yesterday afternoon and heard the complaints by the woman’s relatives and had instructed a nurse to take the woman into the emergency room. However, Khan said, by the time the doctor went to look at the patient he found her gasping and she subsequently died. Khan said he could not comment further on the matter.

At the hospital last evening Daiwantii Singh, the woman’s sister, explained that her sister’s husband Jairam Balkarran had called her early yesterday morning saying that her sister had collapsed while brushing her teeth. She said she rushed over to her sister’s house and carried her to the Leonora Cottage Hospital.

“When we go there the doctor do blood test and all of the doctor duties and then they give we a paper and say she got to go to Georgetown hospital and they put her in the ambulance and we come down,” she said. The woman said they arrived at GPHC at 10 am and her sister was placed on a stretcher and lay there for hours. She said even though her sister was visibly unwell she was able to feed her with orange juice. “I ask she if she want go home, but she say no she wanted to stay at the hospital,” the woman said. She told this newspaper too that hours passed as her sister awaited her turn even though she was an emergency case. However, the situation got overbearing and so she and another sister started complaining.

“Then about like four something they carry she in but no one didn’t look at she and I was with she and I see she start frothing and like the life going out she body,” the woman said.

The woman said her sister’s death was confirmed by a doctor on duty who also apologized to them.

Balkarran’s relatives maintained she had never been really seriously ill and they were unsure about what may have caused her to collapse.

Many others awaiting attention at the hospital sided with the relatives and told this newspaper that it was indeed only after the family started to voice their disapproval that she had been taken into the emergency room.

“If they did look at she when she come and she dead tonight [last night] I would not mind, but they ain’t look at she at all, now my sissy dead,” the woman said before bursting into tears.

Balkarran was the mother of three children aged seven, five and three.


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