GUYANA – Double tragedy
Mother and newborn die hours apart
GEORGETOWN –– After 12 fruitless years of trying to have a baby, 33-year-old Liloutie Ramlall had all but given up on her dream of becoming a mother.
So when doctors told her that she was pregnant a year later, she and her husband Nizam Khamis were stunned to learn that they were going to be parents at last –– and that Ramlall’s much longed for baby, a boy, was due in a matter of months.
A happy Ramlall spent the last few months shopping for his son and at times hoped that the baby would come sooner while her husband would visit her often from Canada.
Early on Tuesday, Liloutie Ramlall started to experience labour pains and her relatives rushed her to a private hospital
in the city.
It never entered their thoughts that when she walked into the medical institution, 33 weeks pregnant, they would not see her walk out back.
The Greenfield Beehive, East Coast Demerara woman delivered a little boy but later bled to death in the operating theatre.
Her son was born in a critical condition and was rushed to another hospital with a better equipped Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), but he too did not make it.
On Wednesday last, a post-mortem examination done on the body of the 33-year-old woman revealed that she had died from hypovolemic shock and rupture of the spleen due to a caesarean section.
The baby died from neonatal respiratory distress, a condition which made it hard for the baby to breathe.
What is unclear at this point is how the woman’s spleen got ruptured while undergoing surgery.
Minister of Public Health Dr George Norton said that his ministry had already launched an investigation into the deaths of the mother and her baby.
He noted that he would soon have a discussion with gynaecologists and obstetricians to find out what could have possibly gone wrong during the surgery.
Yesterday, Parbattie Ramlall, the dead woman’s sister, told Kaieteur News that the doctor who did the procedure on her sibling had explained that the baby was born from a ruptured placenta.
“He [the doctor] said that when he cut Liloutie [a bikini incision], he found a pool of blood. He said that he didn’t know where it was coming from, but it wasn’t coming from below [the lower abdomen].”
She added that the medical practitioner further related that he managed to “get out” the baby and sutured her wound but the bleeding still did not stop.
“He said that they gave her four pints of blood and then they cut from her chest right down to her upper abdomen to see where the bleeding was coming from,” Ramlall explained. She added that the doctor then told them that her sister was bleeding from her spleen.
The sister further revealed that her sister’s spleen was removed and she later suffered a cardiac arrest.
Liloutie Ramlall died at the private hospital around 6:45 p.m. on Tuesday while her son succumbed at the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation a little after 9 a.m. the following day.
Questioned yesterday, a medical source who is privy to the case said that the patient was indeed given medication to speed up labour.
“She was doing well when she suddenly started to have severe back and abdominal pains. She started to scream from the severity of the pain. This is no way near normal.”
A smiling patient became a screaming terrified woman. She was found to be draining liquor [water from the “water bag”] and subsequently to be bleeding heavily. The fetal heart was irregular and a placenta abruption was diagnosed [premature separation of the placenta]. An urgent C-section was decided on.
“At surgery, the placental abruption was confirmed and she was noted to be bleeding from her upper abdomen. The general surgeon was summoned. He found that there was a ruptured spleen accounting for the blood loss and bleeding in her retro-pertoneal space which would have explained her severe back pain.
“Medical literature speaks of placental abruption and ruptured spleen existing in two conditions. Trauma and severe pre-eclampsia. Neither was obvious in this case.
“Also, it is impossible to damage the spleen during a C-section. The spleen is below the diaphragm on the left side in the upper abdomen.”