NWRHA suspends senior hospital official in wake of 11 babies’ deaths

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

The main entrance to the Port of Spain General Hospital. – File photo by Jeff K Mayers

THE North West Regional Health Authority (NWRHA) announced on April 18 that the head of the Infection Prevention Control Unit at the Port of Spain General Hospital (PoSGH) has been suspended.

The move came in the wake of the deaths of at least 11 premature babies at the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) of the PoSGH.

A release from the authority said its board had determined that the head of the unit at the hospital would be sent on administrative leave pending the outcome of investigations into the presence of several types of bacterium in the NICU. This led to the infection and subsequent deaths of seven neonates between April 4 and 9.

In the wake of these deaths, pre-action protocol letters sent to the NWRHA warning of an imminent class-action lawsuit by the parents of the babies revealed at least 11 babies became infected while in the NICU and subsequently died.

The NWRHA release said as the investigation progresses it will make further recommendations for suspension if such action is deemed necessary in order to advance the investigation.

“The authority also wishes to advise that it will make a further statement as it relates to the additional neonates for whom it has also received pre-action protocol letters,” the release added.

The release did not indicate the name of the suspended official and whether the suspension was with full pay, half-pay or none.