Another baby’s mouth taped

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Monday, May 26, 2014


ANOTHER mother came out in Facebook and posted a picture of her newborn child whose mouth was taped to hold a pacifier in place while confined at the Cebu Puericulture Center and Maternity House (CPCMH).

Chesiel Lyka Arsua, 22, said she took a video of her daughter Blaire last February 24 with the pacifier held in place by a tape when she was only two days old.

The photos posted on the social networking site were screen captures of the video clip.

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“Nahibung ko nganong gibutangan ug pacifier and gi-tape pa gyud. When I asked the nurse, ang iyang tubag is sige daw ug hilak and madisturb daw ang ubang babies na natulog… Two to three other babies had a pacifier taped to their mouth, so wala na lang to nako kay abi nako ug normal procedure to (I wondered why there was a pacifier taped to her mouth. The nurse said it was meant to keep her from crying so she would not disturb the other babies who were asleep. There were two to three of them so I thought it was normal procedure),” she told Sun.Star Cebu.

When the nurse was about to take off the tape, Arsua said she requested the nurse to wet the tape first so it would come off easily. The nurse reportedly refused and said that it was not necessary.

“Nakita nako na pirte gyung utong sa baby. Napahak ang mga balahibo and nagsige ug hilak pagtangtang sa tape (I saw that my baby was in pain and she kept crying when the tape was removed),” the mother said.

Arsua identified the nurse-on-duty that time as the same nurse who appeared before the multi-agency body that is investigating another taping incident in the same hospital.

Arsua posted four photos of her daughter last May 24, Saturday, or 15 days after Ryan Noval posted on his Facebook page the photos of his son who also had a tape on his mouth.

Baby's mouth taped in Cebu hospital
SAME SITUATION. Chesiel Lyka Arsua says that two days after she gave birth last Feb. 22, she saw her daughter with a pacifier taped to her mouth, in a hospital whose officials say it has a policy against this practice. (Photo downloaded with permission from Chesiel Lyka Arsua's Facebook page)

Social support

As of Monday night, Arsua’s photos were shared by 19 persons. Some users criticized CPCMH and expressed sympathy for the infant.

Sun.Star Cebu tried to get the side of CPCMH but the hospital’s legal counsel said they would not comment on the allegation yet.

Arsua said she decided to post her daughter’s photos to show the public that a similar incident had happened before.

“Gi-tape man pud nila akong baby mao to na-push ko nga i-post ang akong photos para makahibawo ang tanan nga sayop to ilang statement nga ilang gi-deny (They also put a tape on my baby’s mouth that’s why I was pushed to post her photos so the public would know that they were wrong to deny it),” she said.

When asked if she believes that the CPCMH nurses are not telling the truth, she said: “Of course, and I have pictures and videos to show it.”

Although she has evidence to prove her claim, Arsua said she would rather not get involved in the investigation by issuing an affidavit.

‘Come forward’

She believes her posts on Facebook are enough to defend the babies and the parents who have complained against CPCMH.

“I felt compelled to come out because I pity the parents of the baby who complained. Sila na man hinoon ang nahimong bakakon (They are made to appear as liars),” Arsua said.

Noval also posted comments on Arsua’s Facebook account and attached his son’s photo.

“I hope you’re more than willing to come forward with your incident at Maternity...They are trying to make us look crazy about our issue....please help all the babies and families become aware of this practice,” he said. “Maternity pa jud?! holy (expletive)!”

CPCMH earlier denied it allows medical staff to use pacifiers.

Arsua said her daughter was born last February 22 and when she visited the nursery two days later, she found her daughter and two to three other babies in the nursery with a pacifier taped to their mouths.

She also recalled complaining to the nurse that the tape was so long that it reached her daughter’s ears.

Pacifiers

Commission on Human Rights (CHR)-Central Visayas Chief Investigator Primo Cadampog urged Arsua to issue a sworn statement and attend the hearing conducted by the Regional Subcommittee for the Welfare of Children (RSCWC) today, Tuesday.

Cadampog said Arsua’s picture would rebut CPCMH’s claim that they disallow their nurses to put pacifiers on babies’ mouths.

“They said pacifiers might be contaminated and put the child at risk,” he said in a phone interview.

Lawyer Cornelio Mercado, who represents CPCMH, said in a text message that the issue has become a “circus.”

“Ipahurot usa na ila pic (Let them post all the pictures),” he said.

When pressed for a clearer statement, Mercado replied: “No comment.”

Last Friday, nurses Arianne Mae Pacula and Kamille Isabela Neri appeared before the investigating body and denied putting a tape on the mouth of Noval’s child. (With Jinky Bargio/Chesiel Lyka Arsua/Sun.Star Cebu)

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on May 27, 2014.

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