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PHA report: Woman who died was ‘acutely ill’

KENISE Darville passed away at Princess Margaret Hospital while waiting for blood.

KENISE Darville passed away at Princess Margaret Hospital while waiting for blood.

By LYNAIRE MUNNINGS

Tribune Staff Reporter

lmunnings@tribunemedia.net

THE Public Hospitals Authority said a woman who complained in a viral video about her rapidly deteriorating platelet count was “acutely ill” and died “despite all the efforts by the clinical team, including nursing, physicians, and laboratory staff”.

The PHA said tests concluded the woman — Kenise Symonette-Darville —had B cell lymphoblastic leukaemia, an aggressive and fast-growing cancer that affects certain cells in the immune system.

 The PHA reported what happened in a letter to the woman’s husband, Jerard Darville. He provided a copy to The Tribune yesterday.

Officials investigated his wife’s death after she accused hospital officials of moving slowly to treat her. As her platelet count dropped to dangerously low levels, the woman complained in a video that staff did not order additional platelets as they said they would. After the woman died, PMH faced withering criticism from the public.

The PHA’s letter to Mr Darville – dated March 8, 2023 – does not directly address the women’s claim about the additional platelets. The letter suggests the woman died because she was extremely sick. There is no report of shortcomings in how the staff treated her. 

Dr Ismae Whyms, the deputy director of the Quality & Patient Safety Department, signed the letter.

According to the document, Mrs Symonette-Darville was admitted to A&E on January 22 after complaining of lower back pain for three weeks. She was diagnosed as having a “likely leukaemia vs leukaemia reaction” after an initial assessment.

“Mrs Symonette-Darville’s screening revealed her blood grouping as O-negative,” the letter said. “A physician order was completed for Mrs Symonette-Darville to commence blood transfusions. She received several transfusions of platelets, packed red blood cells and fresh frozen plasma totalling 19 units. Simultaneously, while the hospital sought to access O-negative blood, Mrs Darville was encouraged to reach out to family and friends to donate blood on her behalf, which is a normal process as patients have a wider reach in accessing donors among family and friends.”

According to the letter, the woman was admitted to the female medical ward on January 4, 2023, where she was nursed with minimal complaints. She was also diagnosed with Cytomegaly Virus.

“Mrs Symonette-Darville expressed the desire to go home at that time but was advised by her medical team of doctors that her platelets were very low and required hospitalisation,” the letter said. “Mrs Symonette-Darville was advised of the need to have a Flow Cytometry, which was reported on January 23, 2023.”

The PHA said a routine assessment on January 11th found the woman tested positive for COVID-19, so she was transferred to a private surgical ward.

 “This was to ensure she could be reverse barrier nursed in an isolated space to protect her from others due to Leucopenia,” the letter said. “While being nursed with oxygen via nasal cannula, Mrs Symonette-Darville complained of ‘not being able to breathe with feeling of wanting to die’. Mrs Symonette-Darville became very distressed, and humidified oxygen was increased to ten litres via a non-rebreather face mask.”

 As the woman’s condition deteriorated even more, she was transferred to the Legacy Unit by Emergency Medical Staff for close monitoring.

 The letter said she was conscious, awake, alert, and breathing on 15 litres via a non-rebreather mask when she was transferred to the Legacy Unit by ambulance around midnight on January 18, 2023.

 “On assessment around 6.50am, Mrs Symonette-Darville was noted to be unresponsive, with no pulse, and no signs of breathing,” the letter said. “A medical code was called, and Advance Cardiac Life Support (ACLS) protocol commenced. Unfortunately, the code was unsuccessful, and Mrs Symonette Darville was pronounced dead at 7.07am on January 19, 2023.”

 “Despite all efforts by the clinical team, including nursing, physicians and laboratory staff, her receiving 19 units of blood, Mrs Symonette-Darville was acutely ill, resulting in bleeds and a rapid deterioration in her condition. Additionally, a final diagnosis could not be confirmed until the hospital received her Flow Cytometry Results, which we did not receive until after her demise … The analysis is not available in The Bahamas and was transported to a reference laboratory internationally.”

 Yesterday, Mr Darville said the PHA’s report “is more like a book story” than an investigation.

 “They tried to tell me the history of my wife being treated in the hospital; it wasn’t an investigative report that outlined any investigative findings or inconsistencies,” he said. “The report doesn’t quite say anything, if you read it. They are not saying they are culpable of anything. They mainly try to say they are not taking fault. They are trying to say that my wife was too sick and they did all they could to save her.”

Comments

Greentea 12 months ago

How can this be true "According to the document, Mrs Symonette-Darville was admitted to A&E on January 22 after complaining of lower back pain for three weeks" if "Mrs Symonette Darville was pronounced dead at 7.07am on January 19, 2023."?

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ThisIsOurs 12 months ago

"While being nursed with oxygen via nasal cannula, Mrs Symonette-Darville complained of ‘not being able to breathe with feeling of wanting to die’."

She was immunosuppressed and unfortunately contracted COVID.

COVID still knocking around today, not as prevalent but there

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ted4bz 12 months ago

WWhatever this is a report or something other it comes across very personal, very political, very unprofessional, and full of excuses. Now imagine if the was no video how much worse they would make this sound. Like little children, always looking for a way out is cheap and easy, especially by casting blame on one who is no longer here. We are pretty much on our own; and we should endeavor to stay away from these people as much as we can.

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rosiepi 11 months, 4 weeks ago

First and foremost, any report, ie. investigation of causality should not be done by the institution that fatally mismanaged a patient’s car. Especially one such as PMH long riddled with gross mismanagement.

The facts and dates do not line up with the end result PMH has deliberately crafted, so acute obfuscation is the diagnosis here.

Ms Symonette-Darville was admitted to the ER on Jan 4th and her initial diagnosis was Leukemia and given a Flow Cytometry Test which has a turnaround time of 2-3 days/stat- 24 hours as per UF website. However her test results were read approximately 20 days later.

She was placed in an “isolation” room at some point before her Jan 11th video which clearly shows her feverish, and not isolated as per hospital standards for an immunocompromised patient whose caregivers are likely not vaxxed a 2nd time and/or boostered.

Her Covid test wasn’t administered until Jan 16th, so clearly she acquired Covid at PMH but she was not placed in the Legacy Unit (acute Covid facility) until midnight on Jan 18 and less than 8 hours later she was dead.

So she was “awake, conscious, alert and breathing w/non-breather mask” but not transferred until she rushed to the unit at midnight on Jan 18th??

And as per the ‘report’ this “acutely ill” woman was told on Jan 11th she must mount her own campaign for blood donations!

Perhaps this acute case of neglect and malfeasance should have been investigated by the RBPF.

My sympathies to her husband and family.

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