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Davis: Death Facts Tells Fuller Baby Story; Slams Picture Posting

Davis: Death Facts Tells Fuller Baby Story; Slams Picture Posting
Permanent Secretary for Health and Medical Services Philip Davies
April 14
11:00 2017

The Ministry of Health and Medical Services is carrying out investigations over the death of a newborn baby at the Lautoka Hospital earlier this week.

Permanent Secretary for Health, Philip Davis, at a press conference yesterday, expressed sympathy for to Mithum Permal and his wife, Vishalini Lata.

Claims about the death of their newborn went viral on social media.

Mr Davis said a post mortem would be carried out.

He said that it was generally not appropriate to provide confidential clinical information in the media.

“But since the baby’s father already indicated that he was willing to have it discussed publicly, it was appropriate for the Ministry to put a few key facts on the record.”

  • Due to factors in her previous medical history, Ms Lata’s pregnancy was considered to be ‘high risk’ and was being managed by her doctors. Initial inquiries suggest Ms Lata may not have consistently followed medical advice during her pregnancy and labour.She had signed out against medical advice from Nadi Hospital on two previous occasions during her pregnancy.
  • When Ms Lata was seen on Monday April 10, she was advised that she could expect to go in labour at any time and she should go to the hospital.
  • Ms Lata’s labour started at 9am on Tuesday April 11. This was not her first pregnancy so she should have recognised what was happening, but she chose not to present herself at Lautoka Hospital until 7pm on that day – some 10 hours after starting labour.

Mr Davis said: “While there can be no guarantee that this tragedy could have been avoided, it does highlight the importance of mothers-to-be making full use of the ante natal services and advice offered by the Ministry.”

Mr Davis said that nurses and doctors had been reminded to remain calm and polite when dealing with patients and members of the public whatever the circumstances.

He said that staff at the hospital would continue to counsel the family.

Mr Davis said posting pictures of a stillborn child on a public forum was disturbing.

“It is irresponsible, insensitive and shows an utter lack of respect for that child’s dignity. Those responsible should carefully examine their conscience,” he said.

Edited by Jonathan Bryce

Feedback: arieta.vakasukawaqa@fijisun.com.fj

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