SHAME: Andrews Memorial says UHWI and Victoria Jubilee refused to take patient who died after giving birth

The Andrews Memorial Hospital in St Andrew.

The Andrews Memorial Hospital is seeking to set the record straight regarding its involvement with expectant mother Jodian Fearon, who died at another institution after being refused treatment at two health facilities in St Andrew. Fearon died after giving birth to her child.

See below for the full statement from Andrews Memorial Hospital:

There have been recent reports in the media about a patient who was initially presented to the Andrews Memorial Hospital (AMH) with symptoms of labour and who, while admitted to the hospital, started to show symptoms of the COVID-19 virus. AMH understands that the patient, who was subsequently transferred to another hospital, died after giving birth to her child. AMH wishes to express our deepest sympathies to the patient’s family and friends and wishes the best for the health of the new-born.

We respect the family’s privacy during this difficult time and will only give a brief statement to clarify the role of AMH which is being debated in the media.

Jodiann Fearon

On Thursday, April 23, 2020, AMH admitted a maternity patient from one of our obstetricians with practicing/admitting privileges, to deliver her baby. The patient began to show symptoms of the COVID-19 virus including cough, fever and shortness of breath and concerns were raised about: (i) The safety of the patient and her baby because AMH is not equipped with a functional Intensive Care Unit (ICU) to provide respiratory support; and (ii) The safety of all the other patients and their babies in the maternity unit since AMH is not equipped with isolation facilities on our maternity unit.

A decision was made to clear the maternity unit of all the other patients to ensure their safety. The UHWI and Victoria Jubilee Hospitals were contacted about transfer of the patient, but they refused to accept the patient. A plan was put in place to manage the patient by her physician. On Friday morning her doctor recommended an urgent C-Section. The patient was then prepped and made ready for surgery at AMH. Other surgeries were postponed to facilitate her surgery. Her physician’s team of independent anesthesiologists refused to participate in the surgery. As a result of this, the nearest hospital with the required facility, UHWI and Victoria Jubilee were contacted and again both refused to accept the patient.

AMH was eventually able to secure a transfer of the patient to the Spanish Town Hospital where she delivered her baby after collaboration with the National Emergency Operation Center (EOC). We understand that after delivering her baby, she was transferred to the UHWI where she passed away.

AMH cannot comment on the care the patient received at other hospitals. In its many years of operation, AMH has always ensured the highest quality treatment for patients with the resources available. During this difficult time for our nation, AMH plays its part by accepting non-COVID-19 patients in medicine, gynaecology and obstetrics, general surgery, neurosurgery, neurology, gastroenterology, urology and cardiology from other hospitals.

Our outpatient and emergency department, our laboratories and diagnostic services also continue to serve the public. We once again wish to reassure the public, our patients and our staff that we will always put their safety and health first and we remain committed to our service standards.