Andrews says UHWI, Victori Jubilee Hospital twice refused woman who later died

Andrews Memorial Hospital (AMH) said it twice reached out to University Hospital of the West Indies (UHWI) and Victoria Jubilee Hospital (VJH) but both refused to take a young woman in labour who died after giving birth.

Andrews Memorial Hospital (AMH) made the claim in a statement it issued Sunday evening about the handling of the case of a 23-year-old woman who died subsequent to giving birth Friday, after an ordeal in seeking admission at several hospitals.

AMH has come under scathing criticism for its role in the horrors suffered by the young woman who had started to show signs of  COVID-19 while at the hospital and then faced hours in labour without a hospital to take her.

Reports are that Jodian Fearon had first been taken on Thursday, April 23 to AMH, St Andrew where she was booked to deliver her baby. She started showing symptoms of COVID-19. She was not allowed to have her baby at AMH and efforts were made to have her admitted at University Hospital of the West Indies (UHWI) and Victoria Jubilee (VJH), neither of which admitted her. On Friday, April 24 she was accepted at Spanish Town Hospital where she delivered her baby. Complications set in and she was transferred to the UHWI where she died.

In its statement Sunday, AMH said the patient was admitted Thursday but began to show symptoms of the COVID-19 virus including cough, fever and shortness of breath. The statement said concerns were raised about the safety of the patient and her baby, as “the hospital is not equipped with a functional Intensive Care Unit (ICU) to provide respiratory support.” The hospital said it was also concerned about the safety of all the other patients and their babies in the maternity unit since “AMH is not equipped with isolation facility” on the maternity ward.

The hospital said “The UHWI and VJH were contacted about transfer of the patient, but they refused to accept the patient.”

It said her doctor recommended an urgent C-section and the patient was prepped and made ready for surgery at AMH. The hospital said it cleared the maternity ward of other patients for their safety. However it said “Her physician’s team of independent anaesthesiologists refused to participate in the surgery.”

The hospital said again UHWI and VJH were contacted and again refused to take the patient.

The hospital said it was eventually able to secure a transfer of the patient to the Spanish Town Hospital where she delivered the baby.

The hospital said she was later transferred to UHWI where she passed away.

The baby is alive.

In its statement, AMH expressed deepest sympathies to “the patient’s family and friends and wishes the best for the health of the newborn.”

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