AFTER sitting on a committee established to investigate the circumstances surrounding the death of baby Simeon Cottle, Dr Petronella Manning-Alleyne has vowed to never be part of another committee mandated to investigate the death of a newborn.
Manning-Alleyne was part of a three-member team that yesterday presented a 60-page report to Attorney General Anand Ramlogan on baby Simeon’s death.
Manning-Alleyne said the recommendations made in this report are the same recommendations that have been made “ad nauseam” in the past.
No other investigations into the death of a baby will bring anything new to the fore, Manning-Alleyne said.
On March 1, Cottle died after his head was cut open when his mother Quelly Ann Cottle underwent a Caesarean section at Mt Hope Women’s Hospital.
Dr Javed Chinnia, who performed the surgery, has since been suspended.
A team chaired by retired Justice of Appeal Mustapha Ibrahim and including United Kingdom specialist Dr Melanie Clare Davies and retired neonatologist Manning-Alleyne were appointed by Ramlogan to probe baby Simeon’s death.
That team presented their report to Ramlogan at Cabildo Chambers yesterday.
“It has not been an easy task for us to sit and to hear the evidence as to what transpired on that day in question,” Ibrahim said.
The committee “laboured long” in preparing the report, he said.
Ibrahim said the committee “made a number of recommendations that we hope the vast majority of which ought to be implemented in order to improve the health service of Trinidad and Tobago”.
He said the committee was “very troubled by what had happened”.
Manning-Alleyne said she would never sit on another committee established to investigate the death of a newborn.
“It was indeed, to me a very trying experience. I have spent all of my life looking after the well-being of neonates and trying to ensure survival and quality outcomes and to deal with an outcome such as this I found extremely painful and I am making a general promise that I will not sit on another committee to investigate the death of another newborn,” Manning-Alleyne said.
“The recommendations that have came out of this investigation are the same recommendations that have been made ad nauseam. We have been plugging away at it over the last few decades and there is no investigation into the death of a baby that will bring anything new to the forefront,” she said.
Manning-Alleyne said she would assist when it comes time to implementing recommendations.
Asked why she had come to the decision not to participate in another investigation into the death of a baby, Manning-Alleyne said:
“That the baby did not survive. Simply that the baby did not survive. Simply that the baby did not survive under tragic circumstances.”
“I don’t really have the stamina to continue going through these things. I don’t really have the stamina to deal with death not when I think that the.......although death counselling is one of my hobbies if I can say that but I.....particularly when I feel we need to make a particular effort that we are not making then it really stresses me,” she said.
She lamented that this country has no neonatologist.
Attorney General Anand Ramlogan said it is his intention to make copies of the report available to “the various persons in the government who are stakeholders connected with the administration of health care in our public institutions”.