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Rhonda Huggins

Rhonda Huggins, the deceased.

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For the second time this year, a woman has died of a blood clot after being treated at the Milton Cato Memorial Hospital (MCMH) for a broken leg.

The most recent victim is Rhonda Huggins, 54, of Bequia, who died at the hospital last week Tuesday, Oct. 30, six days after she was admitted and 12 days after she was injured.

“I want the Minister of Health and Mr. Gonsalves [the prime minister] to look into that for me,” Peggy Marks, Huggins’ sister said in a call to Boom FM on Monday.

“Even though I cannot bring back my sister, at least give us that. Look into it. Look into the hospital. Get all the doctors and nurses together and let them know they have a job to do. They cannot save every life but they can do something to prevent death with a simple complaint,” Marks said.

She said that after Huggins injured her leg on Oct. 18, doctors told her that a piece of her anklebone had “slipped away and it needed one screw … just to put it back”.

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Surgery was needed to do this and the hospital placed a cast on Huggins’ leg and scheduled the surgery for Oct. 24, Marks said.

Huggins went back to the hospital on Oct. 24 and the staff kept postponing the surgery, her sister said.

“My problem is, you keep putting off the surgery, no explanation, nothing at all to her to say what is the reason why they are putting off the surgery,” Marks said.

She said that the night of Oct. 26, her sister called her saying she began feeling “funny” after a nurse inserted some “drips” — a colloquial term for IV fluid.

“While she is speaking to me, the short wind started to hit her. She was getting shortness of breath. I turned to her and I said did you tell the doctors and nurses what are (sic) happening to you,” said Marks.

Marks told Boom FM she told her sister that she should have removed the fluid.

Huggins had said the staff had done nothing after she complained of discomfort after the insertion of the fluid.

Huggins would die four days later of what an autopsy concluded was a blood clot.

“They did the autopsy and they came back saying that she created a clot and the clot travelled to her heart and killed her — a blood clot,” Marks said.

“But hear what my question is for any doctor or nurse that are listening to me this morning is: I am your patient and you know that by putting off a surgery it can create a clot and an infection, what do you think that doctor and the nurses should have done? Not to give her the treatment that would have prevented the clot?”

Marks said no explanation was given about why the surgery postponed.

She, however, said that the doctors had done a heart exam and a blood test on her sister.

“Everything was perfect. That’s what they told us. Nothing, no sickness nor nothing.”

Mcmh
Huggins died at the milton cato memorial hospital, where she was being treated. (iwn file photo)

Marks said her sister was “pretty young”.

“I don’t want this to happen to nobody else again. Somebody need to speak up and my sister cannot speak up and I will be her voice.

“It’s too much of cover-up is happening at that Milton Cato Hospital. I’m not running down nurses, I’m not running down the hospital but when things are wrong, we need to make a stand.”

The grieving sister said that after Huggins’ death, she was so angry, “I went there and I speech them off. And I told them I don’t want to hear nothing from none of them…

“Because I tell them when you make a pledge and you are in a uniform, you’re supposed to do what you have to. You cannot save everybody but when you know you can do something to save someone, you step up and you do what you have to. I shouldn’t lose my sister for a simple break foot. I shouldn’t.”

She, however, said that the doctors spoke to her brother-in-law.

Marks speculated that the IV fluid might have had an untoward effect on her sister’s health.

She said she told one of the doctors if she had money she would have sent a blood sample from her sister to Barbados or Trinidad for analysis.

“I told her so to her face and she hasn’t said anything to me when I say that.”

She questioned why her sister was not treated for a potential blood clot.

“I am not a professional but I know that.”

“It’s a sad, sad story, but I want somebody in authority to answer my question… Why you didn’t treat her? You left her there for shortness of breath and she is telling you everyday my breath is getting tighter and tighter and tighter and nobody did nothing….

“Somebody need to look into the health system. I don’t want this thing to happen to nobody else. It’s hurtful to see a broken foot. If she was sick with something else, I woulda accept it, because we cannot fly in the face of God. But a simple break foot that you leave there to create a blood clot and travel all these days to my sister heart and kill her?

“She was my right hand, she was my everything and I lose a sister just like that…” Marks said.

Huggins will be buried in Bequia on Thursday.

Latoya Prince 2
Latoya prince. (photo: facebook)

On Feb. 24, Latoya Prince, 34, of Chauncey died of a blood clot three weeks after breaking her leg when the minibus in which she was travelling crashed at Gibson Corner.

She died on the way to MCMH, three days after beginning to complain about chest pains.

Prince was initially treated at the MCMH, where her entire leg was placed in cast.

Her family has said that she had complained about the cast being too tight and was reportedly not given any medication to prevent a blood clot.

The MCMH, in keeping with international standards and practices does not comment to the press on the health condition of its clients or the factors surrounding their death.

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25 replies on “2nd woman dies of clot after hospital stay for broken leg”

  1. They both probably might have still been alive today had they been taken instead to the facility at Georgetown. Smh! However, we haven’t heard from the side of the authorities at M.C.M.H with respect to this incident so let’s not be too judgemental after reading the details of this sad story.

    1. Thom Spoody, you made a good point but we cannot trust MCMH and whatever report they might make. Of course, MCMH will defend itself, even if untruth is to be told in the report. It is highly unlikely that MCMH will report on this matter.

  2. HEART BREAKING! My heart goes out to the family of this lady. Injuries can producing blood clots and scans can be used to reveal and identify it’s location. Unfortunately we slight these things.We are not big on prevention
    If you have ever spent any time at the hospital you know that there is a myriad of issues.
    1. The doctors making the rounds have too many patients to thoroughly LISTEN to the patients and the nurses spend too much time writing reports instead of assisting patients. We need to use technology and some of those students nurses efficatiouly to address some of the problems. 2.Then it takes TOO long to get the medicines from the pharmacy. There were times I had to be physically go to the pharmacy to get my relative medicines (I am referring to antibiotics and heparin for a patient on dialysis) medicine prescribed…shift done no medication!. There were also many instances where heparin was needed to dissolve a clot and neither government pharmacy nor private pharmacies had any in stock.!! Imagine our outrage. There were times we had to fax prescriptions overseas for family members to optain the medicine and search for persons travelling to SVG to access critically needed medications.
    3. Hospital has a lot of staff and other resources but it is a management and administration problem ( systemic across the public service). The top lack vision and backbone to implement change and the ability to use basic skills ( observation, recording, data gathering , patterns etc) to predict and implement measures for improvement…
    We now have a culture of putting ‘bandaids’ on festering wounds…WE TREAT SIGNS/Symptoms NOT THE SOURCE of the problem
    4. Hospital need to be a company like CWSA and Vinlec. ..health is too critical a resource to continue to let public servants muck it up!!

  3. If we currently occupied a seat on the United Nations Security Council, this poor woman would still be alive.

    Right?

  4. So sorry for your loss. My condolences. May she SIP.
    Please allow me to comment.
    First off rest assured that the IV fluids that the nurse or doctor started did not cause her death.
    Ask instead of your government and healthcare system what is their standard in SVG for prevention and treatment for patients who are at risk for blood clots. Did they follow that standard? If your sister complained of chest pain and shortness of breath her situation may have already been beyond where they could have done anything. The question must be, what is being done to prevent this in the future? This is a common complication in patients who have had surgery, especially orthopedic surgery. There is much that can be done in the way of prevention. Was it?

  5. Could this have been a pulmonary embolism? Immobility after injury could result in such clots from the lower limbs. I does not have to be the IV, that could be coincidental.

    1. Could very well be. In any case, does anyone know if the patient had been given instructions to mobilize? Any medicine given for prevention? Could it have been fat embolus? Fat emboli fairly common in orthopaedics? What was the finding at post mortem examination? So many questions, any answers to the family from the authorities?

  6. This Milton Cato Memorial Hospital (MCMH) appears to be neglected by the relevant authority (ies) for quite some time now. The attitude of the nurses is quite sloppy and snobbish. I can say that from personal observation. You ask some of them a simple question such as: “Can you please tell me which ward my aunt B… is in?” They watch you in a way as if to say: “Why are you bothering me? Why don’t you go seeking your aunt yourself?” Very few of them are nice. The majority of them still need training to deal with people in a dignified manner. And hope they apply the training. Doctors also need to respond more swiftly to emergency calls involving patients in serious condition. When a person can travel all the way from Owia to MCMH to see a seriously sick relative for whom the doctor was called in over two hours ago and the doctor arriving very late, this is sick- poor, substandard service. We appreciate having nurses and doctors but their negative attitude certainly need changing!

  7. And please remember that the SVG medical servicesare lagging a good 50 years into the last century. Maybe a seat on the security council might secure some security for the citizens of SVG regarding their health care.

  8. I strongly believe these nurses are injecting the wrong medication into iv. That’s what was done to mom why she is not here today. It seems like they have some contact with the funeral homes back there. It’s sad but it’s time some action be taken.

    1. Why am I sweating and trembling while reading this interesting comment? Oh Great God, please help SVG.

  9. The thing is, it is internationally known that many leg injuries can result in blood clots and patients should be given Anticoagulants to stop such happening. was she given Anticoagulants?

    There are dozens of medical articles on the very same matter –

    https://www.webmd.com/dvt/blood-clots-minor-leg-injury#1

    The family should try and get a lawyer from another island and sue all of them including the Minister of Health because he is also responsible.

    And the British want to employ our nurses?

  10. Lol…. “ in keeping with international standard they will not comment to press “ really? So they will keep that standard, and not the standard required to save lifes? What a joke.

  11. My deepest sympathy and condolences to the bereaved family. This is really saddening.
    This one really takes the cake. You might go to MCMH for a sprained finger and end-up losing your life. Now, let us wait and see who is going to be held accountable for this woman losing her life. Luckily, Autopsies can be done nowadays using MRI scanners, so, they will quickly get to the bottom of this.

  12. If the government crack down on these speeding transport for all those who make accident and charge them heavy fines for police to go out and investigate will bring in more revenue to the Land, And make shore that it is paid. I am shore it will bring in a little more Revenue. There is no reason for speeding for these Omni Buses and injuring passengers.

  13. My condolences to both families. No words can explain what you guys are going through. May God continue to comfort each and everyone in these trying times.

  14. Luke Browne likes the good wishes when something good happens, so when there is a failure he must be responsible, especially when it all comes down to under-funding.

    The comrade and his family also the dynasty never go to the Milton Cato, they are all flown out for special treatment in CUBA.

  15. Based on what I have seen over the years, I am moved to ask: Do the doctors and nurses really care about patients? Are they truly concerned about saving lives? Do they allow religious and political discrimination to influence the way they treat patients? Do some patients who are well-known in society and have a prominent job/role get better treatment than those viewed as ordinary persons? Doctors and nurses, imagine that you were the patient, would you truly like to be treated the way you are presently treating patients? Some nurses are not courteous in the way they speak to or treat patients. Both doctors and nurses need to be more concerned and serious in the way they perform their duties. They must not allow their personal domestic problems they may have with their husbands or boyfriends to influence the way they deal with patients. Patients are NOT the cause of your domestic problems. Change your attitude! Treat all patients with kindness, regardless of the religion, political affiliation, or social class to which a patient belongs. We are glad to have doctors and nurses attending to our health issues. We sincerely commend the very few polite doctors and nurses. We commend all doctors and nurses for their efforts! But we are just kindly asking that the many impolite ones change their attitude to a more positive one when dealing with patients. Be courteous and helpful to all patients.

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