Singapore Mum Whose 11-year-old Son Passed Away Urges KKH To Make Improvements To Better Assist Patients

Singapore Mum Whose 11-year-old Son Passed Away Urges KKH To Make Improvements To Better Assist Patients

(Updated) KKH has responded to the mother’s feedback, saying they are reviewing ways to improve their directional signage. You can read their full statement below.

UPDATED (22 Sep, 9.30am): KKH has responded to the mother’s feedback, saying they are reviewing ways to improve their directional signage. You can read their full statement below.

“Every second counts”. That holds true for one Singapore mum who lost her son while battling against time.

Juliana Goh recounts in her Facebook post (16 Sep), stating that her 11-year-old son lost consciousness in the middle of the night on Monday (24 Aug), after he complained of a headache and increased heart rate.

She immediately rushed him to the KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital (KKH) where they arrived at 4.35 am.

However, because it was dark, Goh said she was unable to locate the Accident and Emergency (A&E) entrance. As such, she made a stop at the Urgent Obstetrics and Gynaecology Centre (UOGC) which had “the most prominent lighted entrance”. 

Singapore Mum Whose 11-year-old Son Passed Away Urges KKH To Make Improvements To Better Assist Patients

The Urgent O&G Centre is a 24-hour walk-in centre for women with Obstetric and Gynaecological (O&G) conditions requiring immediate attention. | Image source: Facebook/Juliana Goh

“Thankfully the nurse came to us and we got to place our unconscious boy onto the wheelchair,” Goh wrote.

According to her, every second counts, and the nurse “was running as fast as she could”, which took her about one to two minutes to reach the KKH A&E. 

However, when they arrived at the A&E, Goh said her son’s pulse could not be located and he had to be resuscitated.

Turns out, there was a security barrier placed in front of the driveway leading to the A&E entrance.

KKH A&E Entrance Blockage Incident

Image source: Facebook/Juliana Goh

And not only that, but a tentage was also set up after the barrier which blocked the entrance to the Children’s Emergency.

KKH A&E Entrance Blockage Incident

Image source: Facebook/Juliana Goh

“Visibility of the entrance is critical,” highlighted Goh, who said they lost “two minutes of precious time” from not being able to find the A&E entrance.

According to Goh’s post, her frustrations did not stop there. She describes the whole experience as “horrendous and painful” and that there “was simply no EMPATHY” in the customer experience.

While both parents might be registered as caregivers, how the system works is that only one caregiver per patient is allowed in the ICU at a time. 

“When one is in the ICU, the other one requires a manual override of the system to allow entry,” Goh explains. 

The process apparently took quite some time and Goh claimed she had to wait for 10 minutes at times. 

She points towards an incident on 2 September 2020 when the ICU doctor called them back at 2.40 am. Despite rushing back, Goh said they found themselves in the same situation where both of them were not allowed into the ICU at once.

“The security guard got to use his own access for one of our entries,” she said. 

Goh’s son was said to have passed away later that evening. 

Once again, highlighting that “every second count[s]”, Goh wrote: “I do not wish for other caregivers to encounter similar painful experiences while they are already worried about their loved ones.”

“The least we as caregivers could ask for is EMPATHY.”

KKH Responds

 

According to a statement from Mr Alson Goh, Chief Operating Officer of KKH, KKH is aware of the post and has reached out to the family to address their concerns and provide support to them. 

The KKH spokesperson added: “KKH is taking a review to enhance our directional signage leading into the hospital and around the Children’s Emergency (CE) to further facilitate way-finding.” 

In response to the barrier and tentage set up, according to the spokesperson, these are heightened measures put in place for the safe management of patients and visitors to tackling the COVID-19 pandemic in Singapore. 

“All measures, including the visitation policy are in line with existing COVID-19 guidelines,” the KKH spokesperson said.

“While we had made exceptional provisions to Children’s ICU (CICU) visitation in light of the condition of Ms Goh’s son, we do acknowledge that our communication can be improved.”  

You can read Juliana’s full post here:

Image source: Facebook/Juliana Goh

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Written by

Jia Ling

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