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Autopsy shows Lateefa George’s death accelerated by “poison”

Lateefa’s body exhibited signs of trauma, hypoxia (oxygen deprivation), and infection, raising serious concerns about the quality of care she received while at Clarevue Psychiatric Unit.

27-year-old Lateefa George died on October 31st while under the care of the Clarevue Psychiatric Unit (Facebook photo)

The parents of Lateefa George, the 27-year-old who died while in the care of the Clarevue Psychiatric Hospital have sued the hospital and the attorney general for negligence. 

In their submission, filed on May 1, the parents are alleging that the police force failed to investigate or conduct meaningful and proper investigations into the circumstances of their daughter’s death. The family is being represented by attorney Wendel Alexander.

They say Clarevue left the deceased abandoned at the women’s detention area, and that they administered poison or overdose of drugs or medication when it was not appropriate or safe to do so.

The Georges also said both the hospital and the Ministry of Health failed to conduct a timely and proper investigation despite public assurances. 

A post mortem which was conducted at the Holberton Hospital on February 9th found evidence of brain trauma, hypoxia (oxygen deprivation), and infection.

An excerpt of the report highlighted in the court filings stated that the pathologist Dr. P. Miller Nanton had reason to believe that death “may have been accelerated by poison or chemicals”.

The pathologist gave her written opinion that the death was due to deep vein thrombosis (blood clot) to the lungs, swelling of the brain, and lower respiratory tract infection.

Information from the post mortem report said Lateefa had a right frontal area subgaleal hematoma suggestive of blunt trauma to the head. There were signs of swelling of her brain which can be caused by injury, infection or certain medical conditions. 

In addition, the autopsy showed a lack of oxygen supply to the tissues suggestive of hypoxia, and blood clots that have traveled to and lodged in the pulmonary arteries of both lungs, completely blocking them. There was also thick green mucus within both tracheobronchial trees on dissection suggesting lower respiratory tract infection.

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