WHAT HAPPENED?: Parents Ray Vansluytman and his wife Chelsea outside the Forensics Science Centre in Long Circular, St James, yesterday. The couple is seeking answers to what caused the death of their infant Christian at the Mt Hope Women’s Hospital on September 19. —Photo: MICHEAL BRUCE
Parents taking legal action
Blaming hospital for baby’s death
Jensen LaVende email@example.com
THE parents of two-month-old Christian Vansluytman are blaming Mt Hope Women’s Hospital for the death of their child and intend to take legal action against the State.
However, chairman of the North Central Regional Health Authority (NCRHA) Shehenaz Mohammed has denied any neglect on the hospital’s part.
Speaking with media yesterday at the Forensic Science Centre, the parents, 20-year-old Ray Vansluytman and his 19-year-old wife Chelsea, said their child was born on July 18 at 29 weeks.
The premature baby was placed in the Neo-natal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) of the hospital from birth and had to be fed intravenously for some time.
The parents, of Dinsley Village, Tacarigua, said after two weeks the child began feeding on his own.
Some time later they were told that the child had developed an infection “in the gut”, followed by more reports of infections, causing the staff to administer medication intravenously.
The family said they could not say when but sometime thereafter, during an attempt to place an IV in the baby, a doctor broke the child’s right leg.
They added that this account was related to them by the staff and when they asked for the doctor’s name answers were not forthcoming.
The Vansluytmans said the child’s big toe on his left foot was also burnt off due to an IV fluid access.
On September 19 the child died.
The family believed that the child was dropped because they saw that his feet, head and face were swollen.
An autopsy conducted revealed that the child died as a result of respiratory-related failures.
Tissue from the baby was taken for further testing.
In a telephone interview with the Express yesterday, Mohammed said the baby was not neglected.
She added that the baby was given the best of care by the staff, who are now hurt by the allegations made against them.
She said babies at NICU are treated in incubators and there is no possibility that the child could have been dropped.
Mohammed said that a baby’s lungs develop at 34 weeks to be able to survive outside of the womb and baby Christian was born at 29 weeks, with extreme prematurity and other complications.
She said the baby was not fed orally and had to be fed and treated for infections intravenously.
She added that an internal investigation revealed that there was no negligence on the part of the medical staff.
At all times, Mohammed said, from the admittance of the mother to the baby’s death, the family was given counselling and was allowed to ask questions.
Concerning the swelling of the baby and the fracture, Mohammed said the fluid retention is normal with such instances and, due to the fragility of the baby’s bones, fractures are not uncommon.
The funeral for the baby is tentatively set for Saturday.