Abbotsford Regional Hospital File photo

CuddleCot education upped at Abbotsford Regional Hospital since 2016 stillbirth

Woman who suffered stillbirth last year didn’t know about device

Fraser Health says it has given staff more guidance on the use of CuddleCots since an Abbotsford woman suffered a stillbirth last winter.

Alisha Mankatala told The News recently about her ordeal at Abbotsford Regional Hospital (ARH). In addition to believing that errors by staff led to the death of her baby, Mankatala said she had little information about the device used to cool stillborn babies in order to give parents more time to grieve.

Mankatala rejected the chance to see her stillborn child the day after the loss, not knowing ARH used a CuddleCot to slow after-death processes.

Since the January 2016 incident, a Fraser Health spokesperson says CuddleCot processes have been “addressed” with maternity staff.

“At that time, CuddleCots were fairly new to Abbotsford hospital,” spokesperson Jacqueline Blackwell said. “We realized that staff need more information to share with patients to ensure that they were aware of their options.”

Blackwell said that staff have also increased education for those in hospital about prenatal loss and developed a specific toolkit with information on how to access community support.

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