The smallest caskets are always the heaviest, and almost the whole country felt that sentiment collectively after reading this man’s Facebook post about how his pregnant wife lost their child while in hospital.
If you haven’t read the post that was first posted on Facebook on Sunday (20 March), here it is.
In the now-viral post by Mee Pok Tah on Facebook (no, I don’t know if that’s his real name or not, but that’s really not the point here), many Singaporeans were left infuriated after hearing what happened to his pregnant wife and unborn child.
In case you haven’t seen the post, he called an ambulance for his wife, who was 36 weeks pregnant, after she started bleeding profusely through the birth canal while showering.
She was sent to the Accident & Emergency (A&E) department of the National University Hospital (NUH), where she allegedly waited for over two hours while still bleeding profusely.
Two hours. Not two minutes, not twenty minutes, but two hours.
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He also highlighted that the paramedics, as well as the doctors and nurses in the maternity ward, attended to his wife promptly.
The paramedics arrived at their house within ten minutes, and the doctors and nurses working in the maternity ward helped attend to his wife “immediately” once she was in their care.
Which then, by process of elimination, pointed much of the blame towards the A&E department.
There were apparently no beds available in the maternity ward, but the couple was not informed.
The man also noted that “no doctors and nurses came to check and attend to my wife for 2 hours and no one informed her that there is no bed in the maternity ward”.
Which either meant that there was a terrible failure in miscommunication within the A&E on that day, or that someone just wasn’t doing their job. Either way, it’s unforgivable given how a life was lost.
Unfortunately, by the time the doctors and nurses in the maternity ward were able to attend to the pregnant woman, she was told that they could not find a heartbeat on her unborn son and that he had died in the womb.
This was despite the fact that she was already 36 weeks or nine-month pregnant, meaning that most of the baby’s organs and features would probably have been rather well developed by then.
Of course, apart from nothing but sympathy for the couple, netizens were as furious with NUH as well.
I mean, it’s really not rocket science to figure out why.
From the man’s version of the story, it was obvious that the two hours where the woman was left there to bleed could have been critical in terms of whether or not her baby could have been saved.
Also, leave anyone to bleed for two hours and they’d be in danger, let alone a pregnant woman.
Today (22 March), NUH posted a response on their Facebook page.
In their short post, they mentioned that they were “in touch with the family to support them during this difficult time”.
They also urged the public to refrain from speculating “about the circumstances surrounding the incident”.
But, well, if you know Singaporeans, you’ll know how hard it is to control the speculations, as well as the comments that spread like wildfire once we get angry about something.
To no one’s surprise, many netizens reacted negatively.
Many argued that the parents (and the public) didn’t need their support, but needed answers instead.
This was especially so as the man ended off his Facebook post by saying, “This is a really unfortunate incident and i can’t stop thinking could my baby be saved if only we were attended to promptly. I just want to be sure it doesn’t happen to anyone else.”
Others also slammed the hospital for ignoring the incident until the post was made.
Just FYI, the incident happened on 15 March. The father posted the now-viral Facebook post on 20 March. News media reported on the case on 21 March, amplifying its reach.
That means that NUH took a whole week to respond to the incident, and many insisted that it would have taken them even longer if the poor man had not taken to Facebook to air his grievances and post about his unfortunate experience in the hospital.
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However, there were also netizens who urged NUH to step up and hold themselves accountable in front of the public, especially since it is a public hospital and that members of the public are definitely entitled to transparency from NUH in this situation.
Many others also questioned the motive behind NUH’s actions, given that the patient’s husband was the one who posted about the unfortunate incident.
And one netizen also took the opportunity to hit back at an, erm, arguably not very well-written statement.
According to an update on the man’s Facebook post, investigations regarding this incident are currently going on.
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Featured Image: Facebook (Mee Pok Tah + National University Hospital – NUH)
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