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January 11
15:23 2019
REPORTER: News Staff, Jan. 11th. 2019 - 

The parents of Dion Woodye Jr, the 11-month-old baby who died while waiting to receive treatment at the Corozal Town Hospital on New Year’s Eve, have secured the services of an attorney to sue the hospital.

The Reporter has confirmed that the family has placed the matter in their lawyer’s hands to sue the hospital’s administration for negligence that they feel eventually resulted in the baby dying while waiting to be attended to at the hospital.

The Ministry of Health, meanwhile, has already begun to take action following its own independent investigation that it has conducted into the sequence of events from the time the baby arrived at the hospital’s Emergency Room sometime after 6:00 that morning to the time he passed away some three hours later.

Although he could not go into the details because of the impending lawsuit, Director of Health Services, Dr. Marvin Manzanero told the Reporter this afternoon that “initial changes and discussions have happened and meetings [have taken place] with particular staff and some other issues that are being changed.” He did assure us that regardless of a lawsuit or not, the Ministry will go ahead with the “changes” at the hospital and specifically with the person(s) who interacted with the baby’s parents on the day they sought assistance and did not allow them the assistance their baby needed.

Manzanero also advised us that there are different bodies that deal with nurses and doctors who are found in violation of certain procedures. He explained that it is not the Ministry that grants doctors licenses to practice; hence the Ministry can only place these professionals on administrative leave. But it is the Medical Council that has the authority to revoke a doctor’s license. In the same vein, he urged the public that whenever they file complaints against medical practitioners, they should also forward their complaints to the Belize Medical Council, which is chaired by Doctor George Gough.

Following the news that the baby had died, allegedly because of someone’s negligence, Manzanero had last week indicated that the investigation was going to look at all stages of interaction between the mother and the personnel at the hospital and if the Ministry finds that “any particular level of responsibility wasn’t adhered to, then specific action may be taken.”

He had explained that nurses found to be in violation of proper procedure can be dealt with by the Public Service Commission or by the Nursing Council while the Ministry places them on the administrative leave. Doctors, meanwhile are dealt with by the Commission or the Belize Medical Council.

Deon Cecil Woodye Sr. told this newspaper late last week that his baby started with acute vomiting and diarrhea shortly after midnight on New Year’s Eve at their house in Alta Mira, some two miles away from the hospital. He and the child’s mother did not have any means of transportation so they waited until daybreak to take the baby to the hospital for help. He said they arrived shortly after 6:00am at the ER, but that the nurse who received them informed them that because they were changing shifts at the time, there was no doctor available who could immediately attend to the baby. That nurse, he told us, directed them to take the infant across to the out-patient clinic on the same compound for attention. But that process took another two hours before the baby’s number was called and by the time they tried to give him drips, his veins were already collapsed. They were directed to take the child back to the ER for emergency attention but by the time the ER crew sorted out their spacing issues, the baby was breathing short. The ER team reportedly took the child into the trauma room where he died.

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