Child arrives dead at hospital from Tobago daycare

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

Scarborough General Hospital, Signal Hill, Tobago.

Tobago police are in the dark over the sudden death of a three-month-old baby at a daycare centre in Carnbee.

Newsday understands the baby was dropped off on Tuesday morning and was doing well.

But hours later the child’s mother was alerted to an emergency. The babysitter then took the baby to the Scarborough General Hospital.

When the mother arrived doctors were working hard to resuscitate the child, but were unsuccessful.

Recalling the events of that day, she said she left the baby at the daycare and headed to work.

The babysitter sent her a picture of the child, as customary, to show she was doing well. Moments after, she got a WhatsApp voice message saying the baby was behaving oddly and was not drinking the formula prepared for her.

The mother was asked to come to the daycare centre, but before she could get there, the baby had been taken to the hospital.

Soon after the mother arrived there, she was told the child had died.

The body was removed to the Scarborough Mortuary. An autopsy is expected to take place soon.

Contacted for more information, Snr Supt Junior Benjamin said he was unaware of the matter.

After making several calls to his officers, Benjamin confirmed that no report had been made to the police, so there was no investigation ongoing.

He said hospital officials would usually contact the police if they had reason to suspect foul play.

The mother of the child, who asked not to be named, said the child had no pre-existing medical conditions. But she doesn’t believe the babysitter harmed the child or was guilty of negligence.

“I just want her to rest in peace, I don’t think the babysitter had any ill will.

“I have a seven-year-old daughter to be strong for. I’m doing okay, I’m trying to cope.”

She was disappointed at the length of time she must wait before the autopsy can be done to give the family closure.

Her voice quivering during the phone interview, she said, “I signed for the autopsy already and I find they’re taking longer to call me back. This happened since Tuesday evening.”

Benjamin confirmed to Newsday, “The hospital is saying when the child arrived the child was already dead. But apparently, there was no link to when it happened there and they (hospital officials) didn’t send that information to us. So we had no idea and nobody was talking to us.”

He added, “There is a missing link we need to work on right there in relation to the protocols of the hospital. I’m going to talk to the CMO (County Medical Officer of Health) to ensure we break that barrier, because this is a very important matter.”

He said since the child did not arrive alive, police should have been alerted and would do an inquiry.

“We are going to look into it. I already talked to the inspector to investigate the matter.”

Tobago’s acting County Medical Officer of Health Dr Tiffany Hoyte and Secretary for the Health Wellness and Social Protection Dr Faith B Yisrael could not be reached for comment.