Chief Medical Officer, Dr Rhonda Sealy-Thomas said discussions are continuing to establish a burn unit in Antigua & Barbuda.
Dr Sealy-Thomas said setting up a burn unit at the Mount St John’s Medical Centre is not off the table, but there are a lot of preparations that will have to be done.
“Part of the plan is that we continue to improve the facilities and services at Mount St John’s Medical Centre,” the doctor said.
On Thursday, Roosevelt Browne, 12, lost his week-long fight for life after he sustained second and third degree burns to more than 70 per cent of his body, in a house fire in lower Ottos.
The youngster’s death sent ripples of emotion throughout the nation as many questioned why Browne was not airlifted for medical treatment abroad.
The CMO reiterated that the Mary E Pigott School student was not stable enough for flight, adding that the overseas hospital would have had to agree to receive him and be able to treat the severe burns.
“It is a very complex matter. The patient must be stable and in a position to withstand the distress of travel. In this instance, the burns were quite extensive and stabilising the patient remained quiet a challenge in terms of the burns which were on 80 to 85 per cent of his body. There is a high mortality rate with this type of burn,” she told OBSERVER media.
A social media video captured the youngster staggering from the burning inferno, but Sealy-Thomas said Browne may have looked “ok,” but he was not.
The 12-year-old sustained extensive burns to his face, chest, back, arms and legs, in a house fire, while visiting his aunt and cousins in lower Ottos.
The Ministry of Education expressed sadness at Browne’s passing.
In a statement, Director of Education Clare Browne said, “Our thoughts and prayers are with the bereaved. We send heartfelt condolence to the parents, relatives and friends of young Mr Roosevelt Browne, who from all indications was someone who was appreciated by his family, teachers and peers.”
The Director also extended sympathy to the principal, staff and students.
Last year, three people, including a toddler, died after being airlifted for severe burns they had sustained to their bodies. They were: Marlon Knowles, who drove to the hospital to seek medical attention; Gayann Williams and her young three-year-old son who died in Guadeloupe from severe burns in a fire at their Jennings home. Then, the family said the mother sat on the step recounting the ordeal, before being rushed to hospital.