A grieving father has filed an official complaint about medical negligence leading to the death of his infant daughter at Cape Coast’s UCC Hospital Sunday.
In a complaint obtained by Myjoyonline, Samuel Tsibu Thompson said that his wife, Harriet, was a patient at the hospital from the moment she became pregnant up until the date of delivery.
Months before her expected delivery date, Harriet was admitted at UCC after complaints of pregnancy complications. The hospital treated her with morphine and sent her back home.
Then on Saturday, 22 March, she was re-admitted immediately after she went into labour. Not shortly after, she blacked out and experienced severe difficulties in delivering the baby through the natural birth process.
“Her plea was to have the baby taken out by a caesarean operation,” the complaint reads, but her request was “ignored despite her inability to push for natural delivery.”
Seven hours of intense labour pains led nowhere, until finally, his daughter was born. But something was seriously wrong, Thompson said.
“We noticed that the newborn baby did not cry immediately after birth. The child was not given to her mother. When the child was eventually brought to the ward, my wife noticed that the baby was visibly weak and unresponsive.”
He further stated that when his wife’s water broke, he noticed that the fluid was slimy and green in colour rather than clear.
By 11 PM the same day, the baby began gasping for breath. Thompson’s wife begged for doctors to help. Unable to provide assistance, doctors recommended that the baby be transferred to Central Hospital – but according to Thompson, the hospital would not allow for the transfer unless he paid GH¢20.
The following day, on Sunday, 24 March, doctors attempted to perform heart compressions to revive the baby, who at this point, was on the verge of death. Thompson says he went to obtain medication for the baby, but by the time he returned, he was greeted to his dead daughter, whose remains were sitting in a box.
“I had not been prepared for this tragic news whatsoever!” he cried, noting that he does not blame Central Hospital, but UCC instead.
“Her death sentence had been pronounced at the UCC Hospital by the negligent acts of commission and omission,” the complaint reads. “The UCC Hospital failed to deliver appropriate medical care to my wife and child leading to the latter’s unconscionable death.”
Thompson is demanding a thorough inquiry into the circumstances of his daughter’s demise. He says he hopes that every necessary action is conducted to ensure this does not happen to another family.
On UCC’s website, it states that the hospital “is an equal opportunity health facility uniquely placed to provide quality health services in the most professional, patient-oriented and patient-friendly manner."
Dr. Evans Ekenam, Director at the University of Cape Coast Health Services, admits that the matter in question happened at their facility, but he doubts that the hospital failed to follow standard procedures and practices.
”We share in their grief and their loss. We are very sorry that it happened but it really didn’t happen because somebody intended it to be so,” said Ekenam.
He further raised that the hospital does not perform caesareans based off of a patient’s preference, but by the recommendation of medical officials.
”In our practice, we try to avoid CS because of the complications it brings to both mother and child and so we do all our best to deliver our women naturally,” said Ekenam, adding that “nonetheless, the hospial is going to perform an official audit of what transpired as we usually do.”
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