Days after a woman’s miscarriage due to neglect enraged people, National University Hospital publicly apologized late last night.
The hospital released a statement apologizing to the 37-year-old woman, only known as Lee, whose grieving husband went public with charges she had lost their baby boy after being left unattended for two hours.
“She waited for two hours and this should not have been the case in this circumstance, and we are sorry. During this time, we should have done more to provide closer monitoring and care, as well as to update the patient of her condition and the transfer,” hospital CEO Aymeric Lim said in the statement.
The husband identified only as Tham has not responded to messages seeking comment since he told the tragic story Monday. Tham said Lee was left “bleeding profusely” in the hospital A&E department while awaiting space in the maternity ward. When she was finally assessed by doctors, they told her that it was too late and no heartbeat could be detected in the unborn infant.
The hospital gave its side of the story, saying that the woman was admitted to their emergency ward for bleeding at around 10:35pm on March 15, where she was attended to “immediately.” Her bleeding then subsided and her vital signs stabilized. She also complained of mild pain.
As the emergency department was busy, the hospital decided to prioritize medical attention to those in need of urgent help. Also, the maternity wards were full at the time.
“ED was experiencing a high patient load at that time. We accord high priority to patients who need medical attention and she was placed next to the nursing station for closer visual monitoring,” he wrote.
The couple spoke to 8world News on Tuesday revealing that Lee was COVID-19 positive at the time and had infected Tham as well, who could not accompany her to the hospital. She said she was left alone in the emergency ward after a friend she came with was denied access.
Lim said labor patients are normally cared for by two senior consultants and COVID-19 positive pregnant women over 36 weeks are admitted to the three public hospitals, including NUH, for care and delivery. Thus, the hospital faced an added workload.
Lim added that on the night of the incident, they were attending to three infected expecting patients, and staff in both the emergency and maternity wards were “kept very busy.”
“It has been challenging to maintain the hospital’s high standards for care amidst the COVID-19 outbreak given the high numbers of patients admitting into the hospital for both emergent COVID-19 and non-COVID clinical conditions,” he wrote.
The hospital will review the process for expectant patients admitted to avoid similar incidents in the future.
Lim said they met with the couple yesterday together with their clinical and nursing leads and “will continue to provide care and support to them during this difficult period.”
Other stories you should check out:
All the heroes now on sale at Kitchener Complex’s new collectibles store
Singapore govt launches LGBT survey as ‘best way forward’ (Updated)
Singapore ‘saddened’ by China Eastern Airlines crash, reaches out to locals