Monday 6 July, 2020

Girl dies after battle with cancer; mom claims hospital negligence

A 12-year-old girl has died after her battle with cancer.

She was diagnosed with a cancerous brain tumour (medulloblastoma), since October 2019.

Her mother is claiming hospital negligence.

In an interview with TV6, she said her daughter was not properly monitored.

"The neurological team especially, they were very negligent with my daughter's condition," she said.

The North Central Regional Health Authority (NCRHA) in a statement on Friday night said it intervened after the child had surgery at a private hospital.

However, it said it was unable to save her.

The NCRHA said 12-year-old Jasmine Wilson, the daughter of a Vincentian national, was admitted to the Paediatric Emergency Department (PED) at the Eric Williams Medical Sciences Complex, Mt Hope on December 20, after experiencing complications from brain surgery at the St Augustine Private Hospital.

It revealed that she was diagnosed with late stage brain cancer and had undergone several surgical operations attempting to remove a brain tumor prior to presenting to the PED.

The NCRHA said these included surgeries in St Vincent on October 17 where a ventriculoperitoneal (VP) shunt was installed to relieve pressure on her brain caused by fluid accumulation.

It added that recently, she underwent a resection of posterior fossa mass (brain surgery) which was performed by Dr Devindra Ramnarine, Consultant Neurosurgery at the St Augustine Private Hospital on November 1, 2019.

Following that operation, the NCRHA said the child was treated on multiple occasions at the PED, including December 4, when she complained about vomiting and on December 7 when she presented to the PED with seizures.

On December 20, she again presented to the Emergency Department with an infected wound and a blocked shunt.

The NCRHA indicated that following her admission, the medical team at the Eric Williams Sciences Complex realized that urgent surgery was required to address the infection and to clear the blockage. 
It said the child's mother indicated that she was not ready to sign consent at the time, despite being counselled on the urgent nature of the case.

The Authority said approval for the emergency surgery was not granted by her mother until later that night.
The surgery was performed and Jasmine was admitted to the Peads ICU.

However, it said the girl's condition continued to deteriorate with increased intracranial pressure as she experienced seizures, decreased respiratory rate and other breathing issues which required intubation on December 24.

A follow up CT scan showed brain damage and later tests confirmed this diagnosis.

The NCRHA said the child received excellent support, close monitoring and intensive care from the medical team at the Eric Williams Medical Sciences Complex.

This, it said included an aggressive antibiotic regimen and numerous CT scans to ascertain accurate diagnosis and guidance for the progression of care, as doctors sought to intervene to manage the critical medical situation that was facing the patient.

The NCRHA has expressed condolences to the family, stating that its team is saddened by the loss of the young patient.

"We recognize the important role we play at the doorway between life and death, and we are ready to do our part to keep the light of hope glowing for our patients.

The loss of this young brain cancer patient will remain in our hearts us as we continue to support the healthcare needs of our patients within our region."

CEO Davlin Thomas noted that the NCRHA is awaiting the final autopsy report before commenting further.

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