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May 23, 2013

Are all sepsis deaths at hospital related to killer bacteria?

Twelve deaths occurred inside the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital’s Neo Natal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) in one week. It has been confirmed that the enterobacter cloacae bacteria killed seven of the twelve newborns. The NICU remains closed and the services offered from that unit have been moved to another part of the hospital. But there are questions not only about the death of newborns, but from families whose loved ones also died from sepsis in other wards prior to this week’s crisis at the hospital. At the K.H.M.H. press conference on Wednesday, the media asked about the various causes of sepsis and for information on when the deaths were first detected.   C.E.O., Gary Longsworth admitted that he first heard of the story when it was first aired on this station on May seventeenth. 


Francis Gary Longsworth, C.E.O., K.H.M.H.

Francis Gary Longsworth

“It went out to the media, one of the parents went to the media I believe, and that actually prompted the investigation because up to that point, we were not aware that situation was developing. It really became apparent when the babies died in significant numbers in a short period of time. We have just disclosed to you that we know that we struggle with a unit that is sub-optimal. We got that with the hospital and we have been trying to work with that system as best we can. What is obvious now is that as the demands are growing and as some of the problems from the first world are reaching us…meticilin resistance staff was virtually unknown in Belize a few years ago, but it was well known in Europe and North America. We are an emerging country and our disease profiles are becoming first world profiles.”


Jose Sanchez

“There are babies that have died as far back as December of sepsis. Their parents are wondering if perhaps it was the same bug.”


Adrian Coye

Dr. Adrian Coye, Director of Medical Services, K.H.M.H.

“It is very unlikely; very unlikely. And as I explained earlier on, sepsis has many origins and many bacteria. You hear about one called MRSA; that is also opportunistic and can behave aggressively in this group of patients and there is variants of clepisiela. But all of these bugs are potentially devastating causes of sepsis. Sepsis usually it’s a bacterial etiology and even though in this discussion we are talking about the outbreak of a particular organism, there are other organisms and daily encounters that are different sources of infection and sepsis. So depending on the way the patient is presented. For example, if you had an injury to the stomach; gunshot wound and you have bacteria from intestine soiling your abdominal cavity; that will present a particular bacteria load and the colon has billions of bacteria and can then be a source of all different types of infection. And those are particularly very difficult scenario to overcome.”


Chandra Nisbet-Cansino

Chandra Nisbet-Cansino, Chairlady, Board of Governors, K.H.M.H.

“While we transition and we have the babies at a different place in the hospital that is very safe, we will just ask for the public’s cooperation because we might have more stringent rules as it relates to interaction with the babies, with the patients. We are just asking the public’s support until we are absolutely sure that we can go back into the neonatal intensive care unit.


The Quality Assurance team is helping with the investigation, but it too must answer some very relevant questions. If that unit is charged to swab the wards regularly for bacteria, when was the last time it carried out that part of its mandate? And the answer to the most pertinent question the board chairlady, Chandra Nisbet Cansino, has said she intends to find out is why so many babies died before action was taken. The investigation is only on its second day and no new information has been released. 

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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11 Responses for “Are all sepsis deaths at hospital related to killer bacteria?”

  1. sam dow says:

    remove the board of directors, a good start. If they have any Medical Ethics they will resignation

  2. Drew says:

    No excuses from the board of directors. how did they not know!! Crying shame!!

  3. TALK IS CHEAP says:

    first heard about it from the media, CEO should be fired for making tat statement… this tells me you have absolutely no control over this hospital….

  4. Marie says:

    Stop ride all Ova belize and do Yu job

  5. James says:


  6. Jackie says:

    ACCOUNTABILITY- if you are incompetent to handle the job RESIGN OR GET FIRED

  7. MAD LION says:

    Pure Bs, I bet if it Were Dean Barrow, Santino Castillo, Pablo Marin, Boots Martinez, Finnegar or anyone of those big UDP names this would definately be an issue, the work will never get done if you have people in big Posts doing nothing more than collecting slaries. Chandra Nisbeth Cansino was given this post to collect a large salary all cause she lost the convention against Santi. THis is just a little cover up thats all.

  8. inside source says:

    reliably informed that babies have been dying from hospital sepsis from December of last year and reports were made to adminmistration, Dr Longsworth slipped down on the job, 12 or many more babies are now dead, he needs to be fired to send a clear message.

  9. Elgin martinez says:

    When will the PM come out to denounce this gross negligence?If he was travelling to Miani everyone would have known like anyone give a F.As long as you’re a polotical cronie in Belize you can do anything with impunity.

  10. Bea says:

    Found out from the media? Arent there records showing the number of babies dying. Isnt a record kept somewhee? found out from the media, what a shame, if they done now whats happening inside thier own hospital, then what are they doing there? Im sure registry fo births and deaths at the same hospital can provide detailed statistics of the deaths Dec-May….look no further, vital stats can provide the proof….

  11. Bear says:

    I’d like to see daily protests around KHMH to keep the heat on.

    Longsworth said, “We know that we struggle with a unit that is sub-optimal. We got that with the hospital and we have been trying to work with that system as best we can.” WHAT THE HECK KIND OF DOUBLE-TALK IS THAT?

    Lives are at risk every day, so there needs to be URGENCY, IMMEDIACY in what hospital management does to stop the threat. YOU JUST CAN’T KEEP KILLING BABIES BECAUSE YOU DON’T LIKE TO WORK FAST OR HARD.

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