How many more?

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Dear Editor,

It appears never ending, avoidable deaths bloating the morgues, even as a clueless PPP set eyes on the skies, despite being on grounds shaky.

For two cases in as many weeks reflect a pattern, a pattern that demands cessation, a pattern that demands forensic scrutiny.

And of case #1 many are painfully aware, a young man visited by violence 2wks ago, a penetrating hip wound. As a result, to the hospital he submitted, seeking emergency medical attention, seeking termination of life sustaining blood deprivation. But Covid-19 is amongst us, necessitating antigen testing to reassure medical personnel, even as his hip haemorrhaged life. And of minutes counted, the result in hands was brought to eyes, discerning double red lines, evidencing asymptomatic Covid-19. So with panic he was shipped to the Covid-19 hospital, even as his hip haemorrhaged life, then counted 24hrs, no more life in his hip, meant no more life in his body. And at age 19yrs he was dead.


Then case #2 was registered this week of a 3yr old child, burdened by abdominal pain. Thus, the healthcare service was engaged, but with Covid-19 amongst us, a sample was taken, even as a catastrophe brewed in her abdomen. Then the unthinkable, the test returned positive, mandating the child be shipped to the Covid-19 hospital of no surgical service, even as death awaited in her abdomen, to soon overcome her body.

Thus, of collective reflection, it’s most certain that asymptomatic Covid-19 wouldn’t have interrupted the lives of these two patients. Neither was it a threat to others if properly mitigated through isolation and PPE. But what is certain, the hip and abdominal maladies were both life threatening, necessitating emergency surgical intervention. Thus, neither of these patients should’ve been transferred to the Covid-19 hospital.

But PPP must be enlightened, of how such cases are managed in civilised societies. Firstly, this young man’s death would’ve been classified a serious untoward incident, mandating urgent investigation, not to apportion blame, but to learn lessons for future practises. Secondly, the healthcare professionals would’ve undertaken reflective practice, like we just undertook, to improve service in the department. This would be disseminated via grand rounds. Thirdly, the case would’ve been discussed in the local mortality and morbidity meetings, again to learn lessons.

Why so may interventions?: To learn lesson from the first tragic death, informing future practice and safety, to avoid a second. For that learnt locally would’ve been disseminated, informing guidelines, policies and safety. So what was done? Absolutely nothing apart from futuristic thinking by PPP. How we know that? It keeps repeating itself. If lessons were learnt from the young man’s death, steps would’ve been taken to mitigate the future, thus unlikely this 3yr old child would’ve been a repeat. What futuristic thinking am I alluding to? Just listen to the clinical clowns in PPP.

1. Planned construction of sophisticated trauma centre.

2. Planned construction of adult and children specialty hospitals.

3. Enthused on cardiac interventions and kidney transplantation without certified specialists

In effect, patients are dying down to severe failures in basic medical care yet they are looking to undertake the complex. It’s like they’re failing at CXC, yet foolishly setting out to undertake a Phd. Irfanism!

So what’s the solution? The problem and solution is evidenced in the very case of the 3yr old child, who had a tube inserted into her stomach via her nose. And as expected, the tube drained green bile from the stomach, which the Nurse ascribed to child having eaten grass. For patients aren’t dying because we need sophisticated hospitals, they’re dying down to lack of training and professional development of staff. Thus obvious solutions, invest in the staff, and stop the foolery of hospitals construction, solely for political and financial benefits. For unless this is done, the sophisticated hospitals would just be sophisticated hospices, where the masses go to die, creating new problems.

Dr Mark Devonish

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