The North Central Regional Health Authority has agreed to a settlement with the 23-year-old mother who sued them after hospital staff left gauze, the size of an egg, in her after she gave birth to her son in December, 2015.
Although the terms of the settlement and the amount of compensation agreed to was not revealed, it was signed off on yesterday by Justice Devindra Rampersad who was assigned the case.
Crystal Graham, of Bon Air West, Arouca, sought compensation from the authority for the medical mistake.
According to her lawsuit, filed by attorney Larry Lalla in January, Graham gave birth to her son on December 17, 2015, by natural childbirth assisted by an episiotomy (a surgical cut in the muscular area between the vagina and the anus) at the Mt Hope Women’s Hospital. She was discharged the next day but continued to experience extreme pain and had difficulty urinating while feeling nauseated.
On January 12, 2016, she went to the bathroom for what she believed to be a normal bowel movement and she pushed out an object, the size of an egg, from her birth canal. She kept the object and intended to produce it as evidence if the case went to trial.
Graham was taken to the Mt Hope Women’s Hospital by her common-law husband, but she was told their care only extended to ten days after childbirth and only if she was bleeding heavily.
She was told to go to the St Joseph enhanced health centre but was told there was no specialist there and, since she did not deliver her child at that facility, she should return to the hospital at which she gave birth.
Graham was sent back and forth between hospitals while experiencing severe pain and other complications.
It was at the Eric Williams Medical Sciences Complex general hospital that she was told by a doctor who examined her that the item she “pushed out” was gauze left inside her by hospital staff when she gave birth.
Graham says she experienced severe abdominal pain, vaginal discharge and discomfort, nausea, painful urination, irregular bowel movements, loss of appetite and weight, painful sexual intercourse and emotional distress.