Friday, December 15, 2017

Baby Simeon death probe set to end today

The probe into the death of baby Simeon, whose head was sliced into during Caesarean section surgery, is expected to wrap up today.

On March 1, baby Simeon died after his head was cut open when his mother, Quelly Ann Cottle, underwent surgery at Mt Hope Womenís Hospital.

Dr Javed Chinnia, who performed the surgery, has since been suspended.

A team comprising United Kingdom specialist Dr Melanie Clare Davies, neonatologist Dr Petronella Manning-Alleyne and chaired by retired judge Mustapha Ibrahim has been appointed by Attorney General Anand Ramlogan to probe the babyís death.

The investigation began last Thursday and is expected to end today, on its fourth day, as the panel interviewed all medical staff who were present during the surgery including Chinnea.

The Express understands that UWI consultants Dr Mary Singh Bhola and Dr Bharath Bassaw were also called before the panel.

There was contention on whether the consultants should have been present during the surgery as they were not, but were said to be available on call.

The investigating team is housed in the boardroom of Building 39 at the Eric Williams Medical Sciences Complex (EWMSC) where they spent the day from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. questioning people on the case.

The Express learnt some of the medical staff requested a representative from the Medical Practitioners Association of Trinidad and Tobago (MPATT) be present with them during the questioning.

Cottle told the Express she was questioned by the panel last Thursday for an hour and half.

She said she outlined to them all she could have remembered about the day of the surgery.

Cottle said she told the panel she heard her baby crying loudly and could not understand his death.

She said she also put a number of questions to the panel about her sonís death and aspects of the autopsy report which she needed clarified.

Cottle said she told the panel some mechanism should be put in place whereby doctors who make grave errors in medical practice can be held accountable.

Last week, Ramlogan said consideration would be given to the possibility of establishing a Medical Complaints Council, comprising a panel of medical experts, to assess claims of medical negligence made by aggrieved members of the public.