Guyana Hospitals Face Multi-Million Malpractice Suits after Tragic Deliveries
Two Georgetown public hospitals in Guyana face multi-million malpractice lawsuits with allegations that errors by hospital staff led to the death of one newborn and severe injuries for another. One mother plaintiff is claiming that negligence by doctors and nurses led to the preventable stillbirth of her child.
Another is alleging that delivery room negligence caused her child’s broken shoulder and possible nerve damage that is affecting one of his eyes and arms.
Baby suffers fractured arms
In the first lawsuit, the 29-year-old mother has filed legal action against the Suddie Public Hospital in Georgetown, claiming failure by staff at the hospital to handle her child’s delivery properly resulted in multiple injuries to the newborn. According to the plaintiff, both of the baby’s arms were dislocated during delivery. The mother had been told during her pregnancy that she would need to deliver her baby by Cesarean due to the large size of the child.
However, when the mother delivered the baby at Suddie on October 26, 2015, no Cesarean was performed. Instead, the mother was told repeatedly to push during her labor to deliver the baby vaginally. Although the baby was delivered eventually, the mother faced severe tearing and the baby suffered injuries including fractured arms and an eye that showed signs of nerve damage.
Since the birth, both of the baby’s arms have been cast in an apparent effort to repair the damage. However, when the cast was removed from the left arm, it showed no sign of life and hung limply at the baby’s side. Hospital staff have not given the mother plaintiff a definitive diagnosis on the baby’s arm or offered treatment to repair the possible nerve damage that has resulted.
Stillbirth attributed to medical negligence
Just weeks after this incident, another mother was admitted to Georgetown Public Hospital to deliver her second child. Her first child had been delivered by a healthy Cesarean delivery. The plaintiff had reached the end of the term with her second child when her water broke and she went into active labor. Despite her labor pains, the hospital staff repeatedly told her she was not ready to deliver.
The plaintiff and the rest of her family believe it was the delay in her baby’s delivery that resulted in a stillbirth of the child. The mother remained in the hospital for some time after the baby’s death, allegedly due to injuries suffered during her child’s stillbirth. Hospital officials countered the charges in the complaint, claiming an abnormality in the placenta, known as a velamentous cord insertion led to the baby’s death.
Velamentous cord insertion is a condition in which the placenta attaches to the uterine membranes instead of the placenta. This leaves vessels unprotected, which can result in a rupture of the vessels at any time during the pregnancy. According to experts, this condition occurs most often in situations where the mother’s amniotic sac is deliberately ruptured to stimulate the onset of labor.
Both of these mothers have filed medical malpractice lawsuits against the respective hospitals, claiming negligence led to the injuries and death of their children.
The plaintiffs are each seeking $10 million in Guyanese dollars to compensate them for injuries, hospital bills and pain and suffering.
- Demerara Waves, http://demerarawaves.com/2016/01/18/multi-million-dollar-lawsuits-for-maternal-death-botched-delivery/
- iNews Guyana, Woman who Delivered Dead Baby Sues GPHC for $20M – Doctor at Suddie Hospital also Sued in Separate Lawsuit, http://www.inewsguyana.com/woman-who-delivered-dead-baby-sues-gphc-for-20m-doctor-at-suddie-hospital-also-sued-in-separate-lawsuit/
- Stabroek News, GPH Faces New Accusations of Negligence after Stillbirth, http://www.stabroeknews.com/2015/news/stories/11/21/gph-faces-new-accusations-of-negligence-after-stillbirth/
- The Independent Guyana, Suddie Public Hospital Blunder – Mother Describes her Ordeal, http://humaniseinternational.org/?p=453
- Kaieteur News Online, Organisation Mulls Legal Advice over Baby’s Delivery, http://www.kaieteurnewsonline.com/2015/11/15/organisation-mulls-legal-advice-over-babys-delivery/