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May 20, 2013

Is a bacteria in the hospital related to infant death?

There is alarming news about the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital which says that at least ten babies have died as the result of suspicious circumstances surrounding a bacteria in the last two weeks. Last Friday, we aired the plight of an Orange Walk couple whose newborn baby died at the hospital after he was allegedly infected by a bacteria which subsequently led to his death. The baby’s father, Jairo Murcia, says that baby Josiah only lived twenty-seven days when he abruptly died. Since that story aired, there have been three allegations of a similar nature by parents trying to cope with their losses. Duane Moody tonight speaks to Marissa Cruz and Katricia Pantin on the circumstances of the sudden deaths of their firstborns.


Duane Moody, Reporting

Several babies have died at the K.H.M.H. over the past two weeks and parents are concerned that a bacteria is spreading within the hospital. Following an interview with a father expressing serious concerns with the death of his baby on Friday, several others have come forth with similar allegations. Marissa Cruz had her baby eight months into her pregnancy on March twenty-seventh and five days later, on April first, baby Mia Lopez died as she bled from her head.


Marissa Cruz

Marissa Cruz, Mother of Deceased Baby

“She was sent into the intensive care baby unit and she passed on the first of April. The reason they gave me was that the baby caught an infection. And after that, they told me that it was a bacteria that the baby had. When I asked what bacteria she had and how we could save her, they said they were not sure; they were going to do blood test. That was Saturday. When I asked on Sunday, they said that they didn’t do the test as yet; they said they were going to do it until Tuesday because it was the Easter holiday.”


Duane Moody

“They are saying that it is a bacteria that gave her an infection and they couldn’t cure it?”


Marissa Cruz

“Yes they did not know what bacteria it was; they said they have to culture the blood.”


But as baby Mia’s condition worsened, Marissa says that the doctor then told her that her baby had sepsis; a potentially deadly medical condition caused by the immune system’s reaction to a severe infection from a bacteria.


Marissa Cruz

“A week after, not even a week, the Friday, my friend called me and said her baby died from the same bacteria. They told her baby caught an infection; they did not know how—because my baby actually born healthy. It was a premature baby, but she was okay. She breathe on her own, she ate and everything, she cried.”


Three days later, Cruz’s friend, Katricia Pantin, also lost her first child, a seven-month premie, Kalay. Pantin says her daughter had breathing problems because her brain was not fully developed and so was hospitalized. But shockingly she didn’t die from that…but a bacteria.


Katricia Pantin, Mother of Deceased Baby

“The hospital called me like after three the morning. I missed the call but they left a voice mail. I answered the hospital and I went there and they told me that ih just start bleed through ih mouth and died and they were trying to call me to have mi last moments with my baby, but I didn’t answer…that was it.”


Duane Moody

“No reason as to what caused her death?”


Katricia Pantin

Katricia Pantin

“All dehn tell me dah from the bleeding; ih ketch wah infection. Infection from where I don’t know, but that’s what they told me.  I left her good the night. That mi shocking to me that that happened. I left her good.”


The families have been trying to cope with the losses, but have not formally lodged a complaint with the K.H.M.H. authorities. And while the families essentially are not pursuing any legal action,  they urge the hospital to do something because they believe innocent lives are being lost.


Marissa Cruz

“I just want that the hospital does a cleaning in the intensive care because other people are losing their babies as well.”


Katricia Pantin

“I was shock and emotional; my boyfriend he took it hard and everything. I can’t say I get through it yet cause I still cry a lot and thing.  I really think they should clean the place thoroughly, you know. Yo di deal with premature baby here; their skins are thin. They can ketch anything at any time. I think they really have to be careful and thing to make other babies noh go through this.”


Whether the incidences are as a result of negligence or malpractice is still up in the air, but there are reports of numerous baby deaths due to the same condition. Duane Moody for News Five.

Late this evening, the K.H.M.H. said that there have been twelve neonatal deaths recorded at the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) for the month of May. Says the K.H.M.H. release, “This constitutes an unusually high incidence and investigations are underway by the hospital’s quality assurance team to determine whether this is an outbreak of hospital-based (nosocomial) infection and if so, what is it’s source.” According to the hospital, one died within two days of birth, while the others died within seven to twenty-seven days of birth. We’ll have more on this in Tuesday’s newscast. 

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Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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12 Responses for “Is a bacteria in the hospital related to infant death?”

  1. not again says:


  2. maria says:

    scandalous- truly a shame in this day and age. Who has resigned from the hospital? who is being held accountable by the Ministry?

  3. Storm says:

    Do we have another baby slaughterhouse now, under the reign of Marin and Dr. Allen?

    I wonder how many babies survived the hospital in May — I’d guess the number of survivors is less than the number of dead.

    It seems mothers would be better off to have their babies at home, or in a taxi — anywhere but in KHMH.

    I REALLY BELIEVE WE NEED TO BRING IN A FIRST-WORLD, AMERICAN OR BRIT, DOCTOR TO OVERSEE HOW OUR HOSPITALS ARE BEING RUN, CLEANED, ETC. Between KHMH and the Northern Regional Hospital, we have too many deadly mistakes, and it seems that babies are paying for those mistakes with their lives.


    The PM seems to have lost his voice over the Denny Grijalva scandal, but he needs to be heard on these poor dead babies.

  4. Simone says:

    what about the innocent kids across the street who are 2-3 year olds? Can this float there?

  5. jag says:

    “KHMH” Kill Him Murder Her

  6. jah science says:

    @ Simone, of course it can, you see in front of KHMH is an incinerator, where body parts, gloves, syringes, placentas are incinerated and the smoke blows westwardly to hundreds of children, it a superbug, flesh eating bacteria. do we have the lab capability of identyfying such a bacteria, and to determine what antibiotic it is sensitive to.. KHMH administrators need to talk now. how about a press conference.

  7. Elgin Martinez says:

    There seems to be no oversight of the activities at this facility.Why are people that are held to high standard in the Jewel so complacent.These people need to be held accountable.Only in the Jewel can such Negligence be condone.

  8. Seletar says:

    I have a simple suggestion to clean up the hospital: REQUIRE Minister of Health Marin, his CEO Dr. Allen, and the heads of the hospital to SLEEP IN THE SAME WARDS UNTIL THERE ARE NO MORE PATIENT ILLNESSES!

    That way, if they neglect their jobs and allow infections to spread, those bigshots can die like the babies they ignore.

    Agree or disagree?

    Who wants to have the PM answer some questions about this scandal? It’s infanticide! I DO!

  9. Neville says:

    Do they even sterilize their instruments or wash their hands in that hospital? IT’S UNPROFESSIONAL, UNETHICAL, DISGRACEFUL, TRAGIC, AND INHUMANE.

  10. Nikki says:

    I agree 1000% with Seletar…the colonialist minded ceo is having more fun victimizing women in the ministry of health than being concerned about the healthcare of Belizeans……I always believed that PM Barrow was independent minded but appointing an english dentist to run the health system ??? Peter Allen boasts buying double the amount of pharmaceuticals with the same budget but ask him of what quality? there is never a consistent supply of antibiotics at all hospitals and when doctors resort to using what is available we and up with so much resistance… I say LOCK THEM UP in the ICU until we get RID of all the bacteria that is eating away our good health….

  11. Gigi says:

    Is tragic and very sad whats happening at khmh….and its not something that just started…my darling niece also passed away in that awful place with the same condition….she was born premature and 12 days later she died…this was in early december…my lil sister lef her baby well the night before and middle of the night they are calling from the hospital that Jade was bleeding from her lil mouth, nose everywhere….later that day she died…reason?…a bacteria in the ward and she was infected and being so small cudnt resist….my sister still cannot cope with what happen….What i think is those so called doctors thre have no idea what they doing and need to be replaced….Negligence pure and simple….My niece didnt have to suffer the consequences of their incompetence and their did those other babies that died…

  12. UWI Staff says:

    WOW!!!! i cannot believe such a prestigious hospital as KHMH has really gone down the drain. i believe the board of directors of the hospital need to look properly into what is happening instead of only sitting behind desks and trying to cover things up before any one actually does anything about it.
    i agree with many of those who left their responses here on the wall! i especially agree with this particular one that says
    “I REALLY BELIEVE WE NEED TO BRING IN A FIRST-WORLD, AMERICAN OR BRIT, DOCTOR TO OVERSEE HOW OUR HOSPITALS ARE BEING RUN, CLEANED, ETC. Between KHMH and the Northern Regional Hospital, we have too many deadly mistakes, and it seems that babies are paying for those mistakes with their lives.”!!!

    U who call yourselves doctors and nurses and practitioners and pediatricians and all whatever terminologies u want to use, earn the degree or the title you claim you have worker hard to achieve and go the extra miles and let the people of this country look forward to a betterment and great improvement to your services. isn’t that what you claim to have; the best services in the country for it’s people? let us see some hard facts, no simmy dimmy discombobulating terminologies! let us see the results and d hard proof! show the people of this country that you all are not just a pile of mindless stuttering incompetent staff!!!

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