Little Quavon Forde, who died a few months after his birth, was said to have suffered from respiratory issues according to the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation (GPHC). This was revealed in a statement released by the entity weeks after it was reported that the child received burns from a headlamp in one of the incubators.
He was born in December 2018, but his birth was premature since he arrived one month earlier than expected. The hospital claimed that the post-mortem examination of the burns, which were termed superficial, were not life-threatening. It explained that this was sourced from the physician that looked at the child after the lamp exploded. The bundle of joy had been transferred to the Burn Care Unit.
This comes as a far cry from what relatives of the deceased child indicated when they accused the GPHC of negligence at the hands of practitioners. His grandmother, Sharon Harding, in an interview with this publication on Wednesday, explained that the baby was incubated until he was fully developed and his parents were allowed to visit every day. On a subsequent visit some days later, his mother, Odessa Forde, went to check on her baby and made the shocking discovery that he was severely burnt about his body.
According to the grandmother, the child’s mother immediately called on nurses on duty, who shrugged off the matter, insisting that they were unaware of the circumstances. Relatives later learnt that a headlamp would have caused the injuries after doctors briefed them on what transpired.
Asserting that “specialists” would be present to treat the burns, the child was admitted to the Intensive Care Unit where he was later discharged on January 21, 2019, while his wounds were yet to be healed, she had said.
A few days later, she said they noticed that the baby was in agony and was constantly crying. He was readmitted to the hospital where doctors failed in their attempts to save him on February 8.
Devastated family members are calling for transparency in the investigation and for the family to be informed of the outcome. Adding to that, Harding said such matters require urgent attention to ensure that there is never a recurrence.
The grandmother said also that she contacted the Chief Executive Officer of the hospital, George Lewis, but he refuted claims that the baby died as a result of the burns sustained about his body, but rather from the fact that he was born prematurely. One medical doctor asked to comment on the issue told Inews on Saturday that respiratory failure as a cause of death may not validly explain how someone met their demise.
“Respiratory failure simply means that you stopped breathing. You can bleed out if your foot is cut off but you will eventually die when your lungs shut off so would that also be respiratory failure?” the doctor observed.
A series of protests have been held outside of the Public Health Ministry after three children, all cancer patients, died under questionable circumstances at the Georgetown hospital last month.