Three doctors and a nurse from the Bernice Samuel Hospital in Delmas, Mpumalanga, have been suspended following the amputation of a 2-week-old baby’s hand.
The four were suspended on Tuesday after the story of the baby caused an uproar and led to Premier Refilwe Mtsweni-Tsipane saying those who were responsible for what happened, need to be found and held accountable.
Mtsweni-Tsipane said she expected a preliminary investigation report by next week
The baby was admitted to the Bernice Samuel Hospital on March 30 after the mother complained that she had been having diarrhea.
She was put on a drip. However, the next day, the child’s hand had turned green.
It is suspected that the drip had been incorrectly inserted and left unmonitored.
As there are no specialists at the rural Delmas hospital, the child was transported to Witbank Hospital which is a tertiary facility.
There, doctors rushed to save the child’s hand but, realising it was too late and there was nothing they could do, they were left with no choice but to amputate it.
An angry Mtsweni-Tsipane said what had happened was nothing less than negligence.
“We need to admit where we have done wrong, we can’t shy away. There is some sort of negligence that occurred at the hospital and we are saying if we don’t condemn that as government, nobody else will do that,” she said.
It is not yet known whether the family will be suing the Mpumalanga Department of Health.
The premier said the province was burdened with lawsuits.
“When you look at the litigation register, the amounts that are there … if we were instructed to pay them tomorrow, that department will be without funds due to the litigations.
“It’s becoming glaring that such incidents are deliberate or man-made due to an official not taking care in the manner they are supposed to.
“The doctor was involved, there were nurses who were supposed to monitor the situation; unfortunately they could not do that.
“Therefore, we are saying action ought to be taken so that we get to the logical conclusion of this matter.
“We sincerely apologise to the family. I saw the mother of the child, she is a very young girl and we have robbed her the arm of her daughter.”