Baby dies in utero after pregnant woman ‘left unattended’ at NUH: husband

A grieving father-to-be posted this photo of a teddy bear atop a coffin. Photo: Mee Pok Tah/Facebook
A grieving father-to-be posted this photo of a teddy bear atop a coffin. Photo: Mee Pok Tah/Facebook

National University Hospital has yet to address allegations that a bleeding pregnant woman suffered a miscarriage after being neglected for hours in its emergency ward.

The hospital has yet to make a public response after a man who goes by Mee Pok Tah said this morning that his wife was left “bleeding profusely” for two hours in its A&E department while awaiting space in the maternity ward.

“She was left there bleeding profusely and left unattended for an estimated time of 2 hours. 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,” he wrote this morning.

He said his wife was taken to the hospital at around 10:30pm on Tuesday after “bleeding profusely” while bathing at home. He said paramedics arrived within 10 minutes. A screenshot he attached showed a text message from the hospital saying his wife was not attended by a doctor until nearly 1am. 

Mee Pok Tah, who has not responded to messages seeking comment, said a nurse left after setting up a device to monitor his wife’s vitals despite knowing that she was still bleeding. For the two hours that she waited to be transferred to a maternity ward, he said no doctor or nurse came to check on her or even explain that no beds were available.

When they were finally transferred, doctors broke the news that the fetus no longer had a heartbeat.

NUH has not responded to messages seeking comment, but Mee Pok Tah wrote that it had told him shortly after midnight this morning that it was investigating what happened.

The couple is currently mourning the loss of their son who was to be named Titus.

“I would like to find out why is there a time lapse of 2 hours when the moment my wife reached A&E department?????? Isn’t losing excessive blood a life threatening situation to a person who is not pregnant, let alone a pregnant lady,” he wrote.

He said he wanted to make sure it didn’t happen to another couple.

“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,” he added.

A day after this story was published, NUH publicly said it was in touch with the family and told the public not to theorize about what happened.

“We are in touch with the family to support them during this difficult time. Out of respect for the family, we seek the public’s understanding not to speculate about the circumstances surrounding the incident,” it wrote.

According to the Ministry of Health, the occupancy rate at NUH was 80% as of March 12, the lowest among Singapore’s public hospitals. Over at Tan Tock Seng Hospital, beds have been full since March 6.

All hospitals have been overwhelmed and understaffed with the unprecedented spread of COVID-19 in recent months. The government has issued several advisories discouraging people from seeking urgent care if avoidable.

Update: This story has been updated with a statement from NUH.

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