Hospital Director refutes allegations of staff negligence
Anuradhapura Teaching Hospital Director Dr. Dulan Samaraweera yesterday denied allegations that an infant born at the hospital recently had died due to the negligence of the staff.
The mother of the infant has alleged that no medical staff was present during the delivery of her child and that her child had fallen from the bed after she gave birth.
Dr. Samaraweera said that the postmortem report of the child will reveal the exact cause of death.
The Director of the Anuradhapura Teaching Hospital stated this during a media conference held at the hospital yesterday (14).
Dr. Samaraweera further said, “The much-talked-about case of the child’s birth at the Anuradhapura Teaching Hospital had taken place on the morning of August 10, at 6.59 am, and the child had passed away in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) on August 13, and that was the day that this incident was reported to me. The fact that had become apparent during an investigation is that the hospital staff had acted properly at this time and there had been no negligence on their part.”
“This is a very rare occurrence. When investigating the facts, it was seen as an accident and an unfortunate accident, during a normal delivery. After a mother goes into the delivery room, it takes at least 20 minutes for the baby to come out, the parts such as the head, body and legs come out in that order, and it is a very difficult process and takes some time.”
“But there are some cases where the baby comes out all at once as if being shot out. We cannot tell when these babies are born and it happens unexpectedly. Sometimes when a mother gives birth like that some difficulties arise when trying to catch the child. This is one such occasion.
The mother who faced this incident had gone to another hospital to give birth and had been transferred from there to the Anuradhapura Hospital since it had not been possible to admit her to the professor’s unit on the relevant date, and she had been sent to the closest labour room. The delivery had started in less than the time this child was supposed to be born, that is in 32 weeks. This child’s birth is recorded as a low-birth-weight child.”
“At that time, family health officers and the nursing staff had been trying to deliver the child, and the head had been stuck. However, with the pressure exerted from the uterus all at once the head had come out and the umbilical cord had been broken about a foot away from the child and the child had slid along the bed.”
“At that time, an effort had been made to catch the child. However, it is not possible to say exactly what happened. Was the baby caught when it was about to fall? Did the baby fall? We will get to know that after the postmortem examination. However, when the baby pushed out due to excessive pressure and when going from high pressure to low pressure, blood vessels in the head could be broken and bleeding may occur. But that could happen during a fall too.”
“I see this as an unfortunate event that happened at an unexpected time, but as I cannot say that it happened due to negligence. All the staff had been prepared for the delivery at this time.”
“It is difficult for us to imagine when sudden births can take place and how it will happen. Normal delivery takes a few hours to happen, and if the delivery happens quickly, it will not be a big task for us. Only about less than one percent of this type of childbirth takes place. When such births take place, it is unexpected and it is possible that various situations can occur and the hospital staff have to face them accordingly.”
“Usually, one family health officer and a trained nurse is allocated per mother during childbirth. Since the mother experienced a sudden emergency situation, three persons had been attending to her.”
“So far, as the Hospital Director, I have not received any complaint in this regard from any party.”
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