Saturday, August 13, 2022


What Happened to Shenique Miller’s Sister and How Did She Die?

Veteran journalist and new host of Beyond the Headlines Shenique Miller is accusing the country’s premier health facility of negligence following the death of her sister.

Miller took to social media to blame Princess Margaret Hospital for “poor care” and the “lackluster manner” in which it administered care to Swanson Miller Bridgewater.

Here’s what Miller says happened

On Sunday

  • Bridgewater visited PMH late that afternoon, with shortness of breath and weakness.
  • She was held in the Accident and Emergency Department where she was given water to drink.

On Monday

  • She was given drips since she felt weak and dehydrated.
  • A family friend, also an employee at the hospital gave her a cup of water and tea.
  • Bridgewater was soon discharged by a nurse.
  • She called Miller for assistance, concerned that she was still not feeling well with difficulty breathing.
  • Miller called a senior official for help in the matter.
  • Bridgewater was still discharged by that night and had difficulty getting from the car to the house.
  • The hiplok used for the drip was removed from her arm.

On Tuesday

  • She continued to breathe laboriously.
  • She became painful.

On Wednesday

  • Bridgewater died.

PMH has not responded to the accusations made by Miller.

PMH Doctors: No More Room at the Inn

Doctors are pushing Bahamians to vaccinate as the country’s main hospital is strained. There are no more beds at Princess Margaret Hospital for COVID-19 patients and external coolers are being used to store bodies.

Reporters took a tour of the hospital on Tuesday and saw firsthand the overwhelming demand on the institution as patients crammed every accessible space.

A passionate Dr Raquell Davis-Hall, Consultant in the Accident and Emergency Department minced no words in describing the dire situation.

Dr Raquell Davis-Hall, Consultant in the A&E Department

“We pass the breaking point.”

She said the A&E Department is the only place that can be used for non-COVID patients waiting to be seen by a physician.

“A&E has been stretched out since.

“We are tired.”

Davis-Hall said since her time at PMH, these times have been the worst as patients are dying quicker. This has led her to believe that the Delta variant may be in the country, although this has not been officially verified.

Health officials are awaiting results sent to a lab overseas to determine if the Delta variant is in the country.

“Patients come in at 12 am. They are breathing. In the next two hours, those persons are dead.

“This Delta variant, we have no empirical evidence that it is in the country. But we know it’s here. And this is the worse it’s ever been. From the whole time of the pandemic, since March 2020, people are dying. Young people are dying.

“People pull up at the Critical Care Block, not breathing.”

Davis said the institution has no space for patients sent from the Family Islands.

The medical tents are being used to house some COVID-19 patients.

Reporters were taken outside where COVID-19 patients were also housed in tents donated by the Samaritan Purse.

Nursing Officer Prescola Rolle said all of the tents were full to capacity.

The medical tents can only hold 35 people. Presently 34 COVID-19 patients occupy the tents and only one more bed is available.

Sands Reunites With Man He Saved as a Child

Former Minister of Health Duane Sands was reunited with the man whose life he saved more than 25 years ago.
In a social media post, Dr. Sands recounts a chance meeting with the first patient he performed surgery on at the Princess Margaret Hospital.
The 32-year-old man referred to as “JJ” stopped Sands in a store and recalled the poison ingestion that landed him in the hospital as a child.
Sands said, “A few minutes ago, I walked into a store and a young man greeted me…then asked if I remembered him.
“Truthfully, I didn’t… until he told me his name. In an instant, many memories – some pleasant, others less so – flooded my consciousness.
“JJ, now 32 had swallowed lye as a baby.
“One afternoon, as a six-year-old, he was referred with a ruptured esophagus. He was to become the first patient that I ever operated at PMH that memorable day in ’94.
“After an uneventful recovery, his mother would bring him regularly for check-ups after his esophagectomy and gastric pull-up. He required minor revisions and dilations over the years.
The young man expressed gratitude to Sands for helping to save his life. Sands said he was encouraged and knew he was called to serve.
“He made my day. Today’s chance reunion served as a reminder of the great privilege I have had to serve as a surgeon in this country.”
This testimonial prompted many to say thanks to Sand’s years of service as a surgeon.
Featured image: Duane Sands’ FB

Patient’s Suicide Plays Out at Sandilands Rehabilitation Center

Sandilands Rehabilitation Center confirms a woman took her life at the health facility.  The suicide remains under investigation.

What is known

  • The woman is 52-years old.
  • She was a patient at SRC.
  • She attempted suicide on Sunday 8th.
  • She was transported to the Princess Margaret Hospital by ambulance.
  • The woman was pronounced dead upon arrival at the hospital.

What is unknown

  • The identity of the woman has not been released.
  • A motive is unknown
  • Authorities have not revealed how she was discovered, neither the means by which she ended her life.

How COVID-19 Is Forcing Doctors to Compromise Their Oath to Heal

The sobering comment by Former Health Minister Duane Sands has set off a public debate mixed with fury and uncertainty.

Sands on a local radio station, Guardian Radio, “The Hitback,” with Nahaja Black, said the heightened case of coronavirus in the country has placed doctors in a position to decide who lives and who dies.

The earnest reality of the pandemic has caused doctors to place patients with other life-threatening diseases like heart disease and cancer on the back burner, causing some to die.

With a high degree of certainty, the former minister said, “I understand the implications of my comment…that is happening now.”

Other countries have done the same

Physicians in the United States of America, Canada, and Italy have already been forced to make such moral decisions.

These countries have larger populations and the unexpected wave of the virus has filled their hospitals beyond capacity. Back in early March, Italy’s health system said there were too many patients for each one to receive adequate care. So, the Italian College of Anesthesia, Analgesia, Resuscitation and Intensive Care (SIAARTI)  published guidelines that doctors should follow as cases worsen.

These patients should be left to die as they place demands on scarce medical resources, according to the document written by a group of medical doctors.

  • Patients that are old
  • Patients with comorbidities
  • Patients who require intensive care

They are guided by the utilitarian approach which stresses the principle, “the greatest good for the largest number,” which would ensure that patients with the highest chance of survival will access intensive care.

Doctors in the Bahamas are reaching that point

When health facilities are full to capacity, physicians are placed in a position where they are unable to manage and provide care for a patient who may need respiratory assistance.

Dr. Nikkiah Forbes, director of the Infectious Disease Programme said she has not personally seen a patient die because of the ability to provide care, but the country is close.

“If we continue beyond capacity, those difficult decisions may have to be made,” she said.

Health workers confirmed that the Bahamas is in a surge and the system is being pushed beyond capacity, emphasizing that the ability to provide care in that environment is challenging.

What Wells Says He Is Doing to Fill the Gap in the Healthcare System

As COVID-19 numbers swell, Minister of Health Renward Wells admitted the shortfall in the healthcare system, exposed by the pandemic.

“Surges in infection particularly expose us to shortfalls of healthcare providers due to illness,” Wells said during his COVID-19 Update Communication in the House of Assembly, on Wednesday.

Last week, numerous pregnant women aired their concerns with the Princess Margaret Hospital, saying they were treated poorly while giving birth, with little attention from nurses.

And since then, two women have died after giving delivering babies at the country’s premier institute.

These cases have raised public alarm.

said the nation’s healthcare personnel are its most valuable resource in combating COVID-19.

How many health workers are impacted by COVID-19?

194 health care workers, inclusive of physicians, nurses, and allied health staff, are unable to deliver care significantly, which is impacting the delivery of care to COVID and non-COVID patients.

How does Wells promise to fill the gap?

Wells said officials are identifying and engaging healthcare providers both within and outside of hospital settings whose workloads have been reduced due to the cancellation of elective procedures, outpatient visits, and the reduction of non-COVID-19 hospitalizations.

“We have also assessed the staff capacity to support the care of critically ill patients, particularly during surges. Trainees, nurses, physicians, technicians, retirees, and other support staff have all been co-opted to fill gaps across the healthcare workforce.

He said his ministry has re-engaged 29 physician senior house officers, who will immediately be added to the medical services capacity. He added that the facility at Breezes is also geared toward alleviating some of these stressors.

The Health Minister said, “We have seen unprecedented cooperation among healthcare workers.

“With the Public Hospitals Authority, Doctors Hospital, and Department of Public Health acute care delivery institutions, staff are working together in a focused, professional and seamless fashion for the best outcome for patients and the good of our Bahamas.”

Our Lives Matter: Group Protests the Deaths of New Mothers and Babies at PMH

Nearly twenty people assembled near the front of the Princess Margaret Hospital demanding better treatment and a new facility for patients.

The group gathered, shouting, “Our Lives Matter” with group leaders Kendle Colebrook and Attorney Maria Daxon. They decried the recent deaths of pregnant mothers and newborn babies.

Wearing t-shirts that read, ‘Enough,’ Colebrooke said, “The babies that died in there are our children. They are us, they are us.”

Daxon said, “We came to support the women who died and lost their babies…How many other women are going to die before you spend the taxpayers’ money on a new hospital.”

One woman said as her niece gives birth in a few weeks, she has warned her not to go to PMH.

“I tell her to go private. They killing people in here. You going in here normal, and when you come out, you coming out as COVID.”

The police called to the scene, stood nearby as the small group voiced their concerns.

The group said they lay the blame at the feet of Prime Minister Hubert Minnis and Health Minister Renward Wells.

This comes after a young mother Kayla Edwards-Dean said she was ignored in the hospital and gave birth to twin boys, later learning that the twins died after delivery.

36-year-old Zennrine Ramdas died of womb infection last week, after giving birth to a baby girl in August.

And 20-year-old Shakinah Dean, a confirmed COVID-19 case, died last month after giving birth to a baby boy. Her mom said she did not receive adequate care and was left unattended.

Addressing media on Tuesday morning outside of Cabinet, Wells said he feels a sense of empathy for the mothers.

“Hearing the kind of things that we are hearing in regards to the loss of life, it doesn’t sit well with them, it certainly doesn’t sit well with me and we’re going to do all we can to continue to preserve the life of the Bahamian people.”

Wells said the Public Hospitals Authority is investigating the matter, although no official complaint has been made.

“We have not received any direct complaints, written complaints but the ministry is looking into it,” he said.

The group promised to assemble again on Wednesday.

COVID-19 Survivor Opens Up After Battle With the Virus

A man claiming to have survived COVID-19 is singing praises.

Ricardo Mott, also a dialysis patient, says he tested positive for the virus and recovered at Doctor’s Hospital West.

Lying in a bedroom, Mott in a video says  he contracted the virus at the Princess Margaret Hospital while receiving kidney treatment.

After transfer to Doctor’s Hospital West, Mott said he came close to dying of the infectious disease, but he survived.

Here’s his story:

Wells to Family Members of PMH Boarders: Please, Please, Help Us

The long standing problem of boarders at the Princess Margaret Hospital is impeding the health facility’s capacity to house individuals infected with the deadly virus.

Speaking on the issue at the Ministry of Health’s COVID Update, Minister of Health Renward Wells said the issue of boarders is affecting the health system and its handling of COVID-19.

“It cannot be right for all ill patients to lose their lives because they cannot access proper facilities at the hospital,” he said

“Our health professionals are hard pressed to find places to care for very ill people. We need those beds,” Wells continued.

He determined that there are 33 boarders at the Princess Margaret Hospital, some, he says, have been discharged for many years, but family members have not taken them home.

In recent days, health officials decried the lack of beds at the facility as the COVID-19 numbers continually climb. Officials say improving health infrastructure to accommodate the cases and ensuring the most efficient use of beds are most critical.

He then made an impassioned plea to family members of the boarders, “Please, please, help us to help you.”

Wells added that to prevent the collapse of the healthcare system, government has instituted lockdowns to establish social distancing protocols to delay the spread, to reduce the number of people getting sick at the same time and allow for more time to improve the capacity to fight the virus.

COVID-19 cases have climbed to 830, with 69 new cases. 719 COVID-19 cases are active cases and 30 are hospitalized.

Wells warned that the country should brace for more COVID-19 deaths.

Former Minister of Health Duane Sands addressed the issue of boarders before his resignation during the pandemic.

At the time, Sands said his ministry was looking into using nursing homes to accomodate the boarders at PMH, as the situation burdened public finances, exacerbating bed shortage at the facility.

He said it costs several million dollars to care for 31 boarders, at the time.


DNA Chairman to Govt: Do the Right Thing for Doctors and Nurses

The Democratic National Alliance Chairman Omar Smith call on the government to implement proper COVID-19 protocols and administer sufficient equipment for doctors and nurses, after they walked off the job Tuesday morning.

His party assembled at the Princess Margaret Hospital to join hospital staff.

“This is unacceptable. At the beginning of a two week lockdown, those who at the front tine to protect us from this deadly disease, the government has saw fit to abandon and leave vulnerable. We believe this must be fixed immediately. We call on the competent authority to get the needed equipment to these doctors immediately and institute the proper protocols,” Smith said.

Bahamas Doctor Union President Dr. Melisande Bassett said the walkout is “not a sickout,” saying while helping the Bahamian people, doctors and nurses must do so “safely and sensibly.”

She said staff will not put itself in harm’s way as it waits for the situation to be addressed.