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Treated like a dog at PoS General

Mother of baby that died in her womb:

By Anna Ramdass anna.ramdass@trinidadexpress.com

After learning that her baby had died in her womb, a young woman said she went to hell and back at the Port of Spain General Hospital where she claimed she was treated like a dog by medical staff.

Jonelle Alexander, 20, of Maraval, told the Express yesterday she decided to go public with her ordeal in an attempt to bring change in the hospital service.

She said on December 4, at eight and a half months pregnant, she was rushed to the Port of Spain General hospital after suffering intense pains.

Alexander said she was taken to the first floor of the hospital to be examined and was asked by a nurse what happened to her and whether she was overdue.

"When I told her I was not due, she said 'me ain't taking that wuk, I not touching you'," said Alexander.

She said she was then moved to another floor where the staff instructed that she return to where she was initially.

"They left me there in pain for a long while and then a doctor came and examined me and said they were not getting any cardiac activity from my baby and maybe my child died," said Alexander.

She said she was in shock and called her mother to her side.

"They told me to go home and try to relax, that the baby may be dead and I can come back to deliver," she said.

"I couldn't understand how they could be saying 'may be', my mother started quarrelling and asking for answers, the doctor walked off and a nurse came and examined me again," she said.

Alexander said after being examined by another medical staff she was taken to the delivery area.

"I was in intense pain, I told the nurse something is happening and she told me nothing happening, go and sleep," she said.

"I couldn't take it anymore. I lift up my foot and started pushing, I screamed and only then two nurses came," she added.

"My baby didn't cry, he was dead and I still don't understand what went wrong. The autopsy said there was an infection but I still don't understand it. I went to my gynaecologist after and there was no infection," she said.

Alexander claimed that on the ward she was treated like an animal by the nurses.

"I had a catheter in me, I was wearing a pamper because I was bleeding heavily. I asked the nurse for another pamper and she told me 'who cleaning that when you use it? We don't encourage that here'. I was in a mess, blood was gushing, the sheets and my clothes were messed up, and she told me to use pads I had in my bag," said Alexander.

"I asked her for some water to rinse my mouth and she told me she didn't have time for that. It was embarrassing. I had to force myself to drag and go to the bathroom and clean up, the other women on the ward helped me," she added.

"The same nurse then told me I was harden and that she had already talked to me," said Alexander.

"I don't understand how people could treat someone so horribly. I lost my first child and I was in pain and shock and I didn't give them attitude but they treated me like a dog," she said.

Alexander said she was concerned about other mothers who have to go to the hospital and endure that kind of treatment.

"They acted terrible, it was the worst experience of my life, I was still in a state of shock when I think about it," said Alexander.

Efforts to contact chief executive officer of the North West Regional Health Authority (NWRHA), Judith Ramoutar, were futile.

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