Concern has been raised that newborns at the largest maternity facility in the English speaking Caribbean the Victoria Jubilee Hospital could face certain dangers due to a defective equipment in the delivery room.
This was among the findings of an audit of Regional Health Authorities released to the public yesterday.
The equipment is called a resuscitaire and is used during delivery procedures and is useful for clinical emergency and resuscitation.
According to the Health Ministry audit, the resuscitaire at the Neonatal Nursery at the Victoria Jubilee Hospital is defective as one side is missing which may result in a child falling to the floor.
There is only one resuscitaire in the delivery room, as a result, more than one child has to be on the tray.
Fire Safety concerns
The audit also raised concerns about fire safety as there is one stairway at the Neonatal Nursery. The audit says a ramp is needed to facilitate the easy removal of cots and equipment in the event of an emergency.
The audit was conducted between May and June this year at the Maternal/Obstetrics Unit, Neonatal Nursery and Operating Theatre Suite.
About 8,000 babies are delivered at Victoria Jubilee annually.
The institution has 248 beds.
Forty percent of the hospital's out-patients are from inner-city communities which surround the hospital.
The audit has pointed to more shortcomings in the delivery of health care at the Victoria Jubilee Hospital.
It says there are no permanent screens in the first stage room and in a case where a delivery is imminent there is no privacy.
The auditors say the labour and delivery suite need to have dedicated janitors because there are confidentiality and privacy issues.
It was also revealed that the cleaning materials and methods do not conform to the Health Ministry's standards.
The audit says patients have to shout for assistance as there are no emergency buzzers or any form of communication to alert clinical staff.
It adds that no death review meetings are held.
The audit also noted that more oxygen cylinders are required for the wards and they need to be anchored to prevent injury to staff and patients.
It was also revealed that there is no specific assignment of personnel, to assess the adherence to infection control practices in the Fertility Control Unit theatre at the Hospital.It explains that the access points are not clearly identified resulting in the traffic flow not being monitored or restricted as it should.
The audit pointed to a shortage of theatre clothes. Another concern was that the bathrooms in the unit need urgent attention, with nurses and patients using the same facilities