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Wednesday 16 January 2019
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Dead baby’s parents to take legal action

Savita Basdeo Lochan and Jerome Bernard hold their newborn son Jeremy Aiden Sylvester Bernard at San Fernando General Hospital. Jeremy was born on September 18 however he died on September 22.
Savita Basdeo Lochan and Jerome Bernard hold their newborn son Jeremy Aiden Sylvester Bernard at San Fernando General Hospital. Jeremy was born on September 18 however he died on September 22.

THE parents of baby Jeremy Aiden Bernard, who died at the San Fernando General Hospital three days after his birth on September 18, are preparing to take legal action against the Ministry of Health and the hospital.

Savita Basdeo-Lochan told Newsday last week that their attorney has already requested the medical records for both herself and her baby.

She and her husband, Jerome Bernard, sought legal advice after Jeremy’s death from "cardiac arrest due to sepsis."

Sepsis is severe blood infection which can be caused by micro-organisms including bacteria, viruses, fungi and parasites. Infection in babies can be contracted during pregnancy, from the mother’s genital tract during delivery or after birth from contact with others. Jeremy was delivered by Caesarean section.

Basdeo-Lochan said she and her husband feel cheated out of giving their two-year-old son Justin a baby brother or sister, as she had consented to a tubal ligation sterilisation procedure once her son was deemed healthy at birth.

Shortly after Justin’s death, Basdeo-Lochan took to social media to highlight her loss and to call on other parents who had a similar experience to come forward. Last week, the grieving mother said she was contacted by several parents who said they too were contemplating taking legal action against the hospital.

She said they had lost the contacts of those parents in October's floods and appealed for them to reconnect with her via social media or at 379-5700.

When Newsday first highlighted the couple's story on October 7, the South West Regional Health Authority responded to deny any negligence in the baby's death.

Basdeo-Lochan had also expressed concerns about the presence of pigeons and vultures near the nursery.

CEO Keith McDonald confirmed the presence of pigeons, but said, "It is not a crisis."

Minister of Health Terrence Deyalsingh has been questioned in Parliament by deputy political leader of the UNC Khadijah Ameen on the reports of infant deaths at two major hospitals.

Deyalsingh attributed these deaths to "a rash of premature births," as well as babies being born severely underweight, some with infections from their mothers and the "number of births post-Carnival."

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