Investigation into NA hospital death completed By Daniel DaCosta
Stabroek News
April 28, 2002

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The investigation which was launched into the death of 20-year-old Jason Joseph at the New Amsterdam Hospital on March 23 has been completed and its findings submitted to Chief Medical Officer Dr Rudolph Cummings.

The investigation was conducted by Medical Superintendent, Dr John Austin. Joseph died at the institution some 11 hours after he was rushed there bleeding profusely from a gaping wound to his right arm and two smaller cuts to his chest and chin. He had been chopped just after midnight by a cutlass-wielding patron at a popular East Canje nightspot during a confrontation.

According to his friend Dorwyn Williams who rushed Joseph to the hospital on his motorcycle, they arrived at the institution shortly after 1:00 am. Hospital sources confirmed that the wounded man arrived at the Accident and Emergency Unit at 1:15 am.

Stabroek News had been informed that shortly after his arrival Joseph was attended by a Medex and nursing staff at the Unit who placed a compressed bandage on the wound to his right arm.

The orthopaedic surgeon was then contacted, told of the injury and informed that the patientís vital signs were normal but he was restless. He instructed that the wound be sutured and said he would be at the institution later that morning. Joseph was taken to a ward at around 7:45 am. An independent source had told this newspaper that Joseph was taken to the X-Ray Department sometime between 8:30 am and 9:00 am.

According to his mother Ann Joseph, at 7:00 am she was told that her son was in need of blood. She said that at 9:00 am she was informed that he had been taken to the Operating Theatre and was receiving blood. Joseph said she was told that her son died sometime before midday.

The deceasedís parents have expressed their dissatisfaction with the quality and timeliness of the treatment provided at the institution on that fateful morning. Anne Joseph was devastated over the fact that her son died from a wound to his arm, which should not have been considered a life threatening injury under normal circumstances. At approximately 9:00 am the orthopaedic surgeon called the general surgeon and requested his assistance in treating the patient.

Over the years a number of patients died at the institution under questionable circumstances. The outcome of the investigations launched into some of these deaths have not been made public.