‘We need justice’ …family calls for independent probe into death of baby burnt at GPHC

Before and after Quavon Forde was burnt
Before and after Quavon Forde was burnt

The life of a newborn baby boy was recently cut short due to alleged negligence of practitioners at the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation (GPHC) after he succumbed shortly after burns received from a headlamp in one of the incubators.

Little Quavon Forde was born in December 2018 in what was termed a premature birth since he arrived one month earlier than expected.

His grandmother, Sharon Harding, in an interview with INews, 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 saw a doctor and the doctor told her that it was a headlamp that fall and burn the baby and she must not worry because they brought in specialists to take care of the baby burns,” the grandmother relayed.

“I’m assuming that they noticed themselves that the child couldn’t make it and they subsequently discharged this baby and handed it over to her.”

A few days later, she 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.

The grandmother said 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 the he was born premature.

Harding said their troubles did not end there, saying that they faced numerous encounters when the post-mortem examination was due.

Efforts by Inews to get a comment from GPHC’s officials proved futile.

The death of the baby comes amid mounting calls for public health officials to be sanctioned for negligence. The relatives of the baby are calling for an independent probe to carried out into the matter.

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.

An investigation has since been launched into that incident.

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.



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