Medical doctors are advocating for changes to be made to Ministry of Health protocol in relation to the transfer of intensive care patients from one hospital to another.
Former Senior Medical Officer at the Savanna-la-Mar Hospital Dr. Alfred Dawes and President of the Jamaica Medical Doctors Association, Dr. Elon Thompson, believe the protocol is in urgent need of review and amendment to match the modern realities.
Their call follows the controversy surrounding the transfer process of Jodian Fearon last week before her death after delivering her baby.
According to the doctors, the protocols are no longer practical so very often they are not followed in emergency cases.
According to Dr Dawes, the difficulty lies in the critical shortage of Intensive Care Units and equipment, combined with the shortage of staff to monitor patients at health facilities.
He shared his views yesterday on Beyond The Headlines.
“You cannot stick to what is written on the paper when in practicality, you cannot do it. Another thing that is in the protocol is that the patient – if they are intubated, they should be accompanied by someone who can manage that airway. Now when you have one nurse on duty for the entire night – how are you going to send that one person on an ambulance to transfer a patient to another institution? The protocols look good on paper, but they have not been practical and they need review.”
He also said that the review process needs certain expertise for it to be meaningful.
“And when we are doing the reviews, it must include not just the senior technical level personnel in the regions but it must include input from the consultants and the senior residents of not only the receiving hospitals but the type B and C hospitals that will be referring patients to the type A hospitals,” said Dawes.
And President of the Jamaica Medical Doctors Association, Dr. Elon Thompson, is in agreement with Dr. Dawes, but says despite the deficiencies there are consequences for not following the protocol.