'Inefficiency': Meera Maharaj

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Mom: Injection never given

Foetus died 'because ofblood incompatibility'

By Anna Ramdass anna.ramdass@trinidadexpress.com

An official autopsy report on a baby girl who died in her mother's womb found the foetus died because of blood incompatibility problems.

Meera Maharaj, 30, was hospitalised at Mt Hope Maternity Hospital last week after learning her nine-month-old foetus had died in her womb. She delivered the foetus last Saturday.

An autopsy was performed on the foetus, whom the family named Celine.

A health official told the Express Celine died because of "rhesus incompatibility".

Maharaj has the blood type O-negative, while her foetus was A-positive. Because of the blood incompatibility, the mother's body produced anti-bodies against the foetus's blood type, resulting in its death.

The health official told the Express injections were supposed to be administered to the mother to prevent complications in the pregnancy because of the blood incompatibility.

The funeral for Celine will be held tomorrow at 9 a.m. at the family's San Juan home.

Maharaj was released from the hospital yesterday, insisting she must attend her baby's funeral.

Speaking to the Express by phone, Maharaj said when she visited the clinic at Mt Hope, doctors did tell her she has O-negative blood and must take an injection called RhoGAM, but it was never administered. "They said it was important for me to take this injection. Up to last Monday, the doctor was talking about it, but no one made any moves to have it administered," said Maharaj.

Maharaj said she blames the death of her daughter on the inefficiency of the hospital to treat with her properly.

She added that last week Monday she was told her foetus was well, after a review at the clinic.

However, last Wednesday, she was told the foetus had died. Maharaj was sent home, but returned to the hospital on her family's insistence. She was admitted to the ward after sleeping on four chairs due to the lack of bed space.

Contacted yesterday, chief executive officer of the North Central Regional Health Authority Colin Bissessar said health officials were in touch with the mother and her family and counselling services were offered. He said the autopsy report will be forwarded to Health Minister Dr Fuad Khan.

Bissessar added that no formal complaints were made against the hospital by the family, and action taken by the authorities on the matter were done following reports in the media.

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