Jane Doe has been suffering in silence for the past four years since her son, Baby X, was badly burned on the right hand while receiving treatment in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at Mount St. John’s Medical Centre.
The latest mother to tell her story asked for anonymity and, as such, this article refers to her as “Jane Doe” and her son as “Baby X”.
Touched deeply by the stories of two other mothers who recently came forward to expose incidents at the hospital where their babies were burned while in the NICU, this third woman has decided to share her story which includes a court ruling awarding her compensation for the burn on her son’s right hand, and the hospital’s appeal.
“My son was born December 16th 2014 via C section. After birth he wasn’t eating as a baby should. He kept vomiting up the milk. A decision was made to admit him to the NICU. The burn occurred on December 18th 2014. I was informed that there was a minor burn to the right hand while they were feeding him intravenously,” she said.
The mother said it was around 2 a.m. when they told her about the burn and the hospital indicated it would do everything to take care of it.
No one ever identified who were the nurses responsible for her son’s care at the time he was burned.
After the baby was discharged on December 26, 2014, there was follow up treatment and Jane Doe said a surgical doctor met with her and Baby X.
“She basically said she is pleased with the way it’s healing and as such no surgery or follow up is needed,” she noted.
Nonetheless, the mom decided to take her son to a private doctor and to also visit the Browne’s Avenue Clinic where the services “were great.”
But although her son’s hand healed, it was left badly scarred – in fact, permanently scarred, and no one was providing her with the answers she sought.
This prompted the new mother to seek legal advice.
The lawyer requested a statement from the hospital and it was then that it was explained what happened.
She recalled the statement indicated that, “The IV they were giving him wasn’t placed in a vein, it was placed under the skin, in error. The medication wasn’t going anywhere, it was just flowing under the skin and it burnt the tissues. They never noticed it because his hand was well strapped down to prevent him from pulling on the IV.”
Still, the hospital did not identify who caused the burn and it did not accept it was wrong in any way.
Jane Doe proceeded with a lawsuit against the hospital and within two years the court ruled in her favour, awarding $10,000 compensation.
But the hospital indicated it would challenge the ruling and after repeated court appearances it asked for an extension to file its response.
Online research of the case revealed the court responded to the application for an extension, saying, “The applicant is granted an extension of time to file a notice of appeal. The applicant is to file and serve a notice of appeal within 14 days of this order. Reason: The Court noted that the applicant had met the threshold requirements for the grant of an extension of time to appeal.”
This was in June 2017. No further details were provided online.
The woman told OBSERVER media said submissions were subsequently filed but up to yesterday she had not received any word on what has happened since the parties filed those submissions to argue the case.
“Just after birth, he had two perfect hands,” she said “Anything that we were required to do we did it. My lawyer would notify me every step of the way. I met with her in January where she said she is frustrated at the standstill of the case but we will keep pushing.”
The mom said the case was never about getting money, but it was to find out the truth and to address how everything was handled, including the lack of communication.
“The lawyer fee and now if the case is transferred to the appeals court, that will total up to the amount for the winnings and more but it doesn’t matter to me, I just want them to accept fault, that’s all,” she stressed.
OBSERVER media has been reaching out to Mount St. John’s Medical Centre for comment on the ‘burned babies’ matters for several days, but the Communications Manager, Salma Crump, said she was not aware of the situation and the complaints were being looked into before a response can be made.
Last week, one mother spoke out about her baby girl being burnt in the face while in the NICU, and another mom said her baby’s fingers were burnt while in the same Unit.
The incidents occurred in July last year and January this year respectively.
The baby with the burns to her face is growing with a scar that’s quite noticeable at first glance and the mom said the hospital needs to compensate her for the injury, but she does not have the means to take legal action; while the baby with injured fingers is recovering without scars and the mom is relieved.