By Maimuna Bojang
Dr Edel Perez Castellanos, a medical doctor at Africmed International Hospital told the High Court presided over by Justice Ebrima Jaiteh that when baby Muhammad was rushed into the hospital, he checked all the vital signs and found out that the oxygen calculation in him was 60, and the pulse was 22.
“On the 3rd of July 2022, around 6 pm a nurse at Africmed called me. She said ‘we just received a child called Muhammed Mbye’. The nurse called me because the child arrived at the hospital in critical condition. Immediately, I went to the emergency ward to see the patient, and when I arrived at the emergency ward, the nurse told me the child’s family told her that the child was locked in a car for 4hrs,” Dr Perez told the court on Friday.
Dr Edel Perez Castellanos is testifying in a trial involving Sainabou Mbye (1st accused), Cherno Mbye (2nd accused), and Kibili Dambelly (3rd accused) and they are charged with manslaughter, contrary to Section 186 of Criminal Code Cap: 10.01 Vol. III, Laws of The Gambia 2009.
The particulars of the offence stated that Sainabou Mbye, Cherno Mbye, and Kibili Dambelly, on or about 3rd July 2022, at Kanifing and diverse places in The Gambia, by an unlawful act, or omission, amounting to culpable negligence, left a two-year-old boy resident of Brusubi inside a car, which caused his death, thereby committed an offence.
Counsels M. B Sowe is representing the State; while I. Drammeh represents the 1st accused; C. Gaye and Miss Twum represent the 1st accused, and C. Gaye and Miss Twum are representing the 2nd and 3rd accused persons in the trial.
With over three decades as a medical doctor and also a medical consultant for 25 years, he testified that for a normal child who is around 2 years, the pulse should be between 100 to 120, but baby Muhammad had 22, which was ‘very, very low.
Under cross-examination, he told the court that normal oxygen calculation should be above 90, but for the late baby Muhammad, it was 60and the temperature was boiling at 38.5 revealing that gave the baby 5 litres of oxygen.
He further told the court that he also gave the baby a paracetamol 150mg injection (iv) start dose, filled out a referral form and referred him to Edward Francis Small Teaching Hospital Banjul in an ambulance.
He pointed out that he gave baby Muhammad the medication to increase his heart contraction.
He told the court when a person suffers Asphyxia, his or her brain after 10 minutes starts to damage, in this case, the patient was locked in a car for 4 hours and didn’t have very good oxygen.
He noted that was why he gave him Aldinary to increase his heart contraction and blood circulation.
He revealed that baby Muhammad spent 20 to 30 minutes at his hospital before referring to EFSH in Banjul because it was an emergency.
Also asked whether the child was wet when he was brought to the facility, Dr Perez responded in the positive, but said he (the child) did not vomit.
The defence counsel, Ida Drammeh, asked Dr Perez whether he was informed about baby Muhammad having flu and cold, and he responded that nobody told him anything about baby Muhammad’s health condition.
The witness said there are certain pre-existing medical conditions, that a patient may have that could affect the flow of oxygen in the brain.
“It is correct that sometimes, you find it difficult to understand what your patients say,” Counsel Ida Drammeh asked.
“I worked at Africmed, anything I say, the nurse will translate it to the patient,” Dr Perez responded.
The case would continue at the High Court in Banjul on (Monday) 17th October 2022.