KHMH under fire again, Decomposed fetus found under hospital bed
Friday, June 6th, 2014
The country’s largest referral medical facility, the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital (KHMH), is once again under heavy public criticism after an abandoned and decomposing fetus was found under a patient’s bed. The discovery was made around 8PM on Friday May 30th after a patient in the observation section alerted nurses of a highly offensive stench coming from under her bed.
It is believed that a female patient had expelled the fetus days prior to the discovery, but no one at the KHMH had noticed the fetus under the bed. It was not until a patient admitted at the observation ward smelled something wrong, and called on the nurses to inspect under the bed, that the disturbing discovery was made. According to a police report dated June 2nd, authorities were alerted by personnel at the KHMH and upon arrival they observed ‘what appeared to be residue of human tissue believed to be a fetus in a small white box under the bed in an apparent state of decomposition.”
The residue of human tissue, believed to be a fetus, was then taken to the KHMH morgue as the investigation continues. Police are not indicating what the angle of the investigation will take, but it is unclear how a pregnant woman was admitted into the observation ward, expelled the fetus, and left the remains – apparently for days – while going unnoticed by the nurses, doctors and even the auxiliary staff that is charge with the responsibility of cleaning and maintaining the hospital wards.
KHMH Public Relations Officer Tylon Tillett told The San Pedro Sun that the case is a police matter and as such, they are not allowed to speak on the developing issue. However, on Tuesday June 3rd, authorities at the KHMH issued a short statement in reference to the “product of conception”. “Our internal investigation revealed a clear link between a patient encounter and the product of conception, and sadly established that appropriate procedures were not followed. We can report, however, that the patient was managed appropriately and discharged,” said the release.
The issue brings into to question once again the procedural standards at the country’s largest referral medical facility. For that reason the release ends by saying that “The KHMH is committed to addressing the weaknesses identified in this incident and the appropriate disciplinary measures will be carried out.”
Authorities at the KHMH may be mum on the issue but it brings into to question once again the procedural standards at the country’s largest referral medical facility. Just last year, the KHMH came under fire from the public after 13 babies died due to an infection caused by a bacterial outbreak (enterobacteriaceae) in the intensive care unit. That incident placed a black eye on the medical facility and prompted the World Health Organization to carry out an investigation with the assistance of regional doctors. The mothers of ten of the newborns have sued the KHMH for damages, a matter that is before the court.