Two probes into the deaths of three children who were cancer patients at the Georgetown Hospital, have found that the deaths were caused by the incorrect mode of administration of one the cancer treatment drugs, administered to the children.
One of the investigations was conducted by the Georgetown Hospital itself while the other probe was an independent one that was convened by the Ministry of Public Health.
The teams which probed the tragic deaths found that the drug, “vincristine”, was administered to the children through the spine rather than through their veins. It was another cancer treatment medication that should have been administered through the spine.
The probes also found that it was the same medical team of Doctors that attended to the three children and treated them with the “vincristine” drug. But it was the same junior Doctor who administered the drug incorrectly on all three occasions.
The Director of Medical Services at the Georgetown Hospital, Dr. Fawcett Jeffrey, in his report found that “human deficiencies and systematic challenges contributed to the demise of the three children”.
The independent probe was led by Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Shamdeo Persaud and his team found that the Georgetown Hospital’s protocols for the delivery of chemotherapy to children were not adhered to.
The independent probe team has put forward a number of recommendations to strengthen the system at the hospital and to prevent any recurrence.
At a press conference today, Chairperson of the Georgetown Hospital, Kessaundra Alves, said that now that the probe has been completed and the report shared with the hospital, the full Board of the hospital will study the findings of the probe as well as the report from the hospital itself.
She said the Georgetown Hospital will shortly begin the process of initiating action following the findings of the two reports.
Deputy Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Karen Gordon-Campbell said the investigative team also found that the senior doctors in the pediatric department were also working in several other departments and did not adequately supervise the junior doctor who administered the medication.
The Doctors who treated the children, were sent on administrative leave since the probe into the incident started. The administrative leave continues as their fate will be decided on soon.