Par­ents say baby died due to clinic’s neg­li­gence

The Star Early Edition - - NEWS - NOKUTHULA ZWANE

A SOWETO cou­ple have ac­cused Chi­awelo Clinic nurses of caus­ing the death of their newly born baby af­ter the mother gave birth in a toi­let.

Agatha Ngubane (36) and Is­rael Mu­dau (37) are look­ing for look­ing for an­swers from the Gaut­eng Depart­ment of Health fol­lowig the death of lit­tle Orifha Siph­e­sihle Mu­dau.

Ngubane she said she had gone into labour on Fe­bru­ary 9 and when she ar­rived at the clinic nurses at the re­cep­tion told her to wait.

“I ar­rived at the clinic at 6.30am and I was only at­tended to by 7.30am.

“Af­ter wait­ing for more than a hour, a nurse came to me and asked me to lay down on the bed. She started ex­am­in­ing me by as­sess­ing my blood pres­sure and lis­ten­ing for a heart­beat,” said Ngubane.

“We both could not hear any heart­beat.”

The nurse left the room, she said.

While she was gone, Ngubane said she had gone to the toi­let a num­ber of times.

Some time later an­other nurse came into the room where she was and al­legedly said “I have come to see the lady who has been go­ing in and out of the toi­let” .

Around 10am, Ngubane said she told the nurse, who was in the room at the time, that she was in pain and that the pre­vi­ous nurse who had ob­served her had not said any­thing.

“At that point I told her that I re­ally needed the toi­let and she al­lowed me to go.”

Ac­cord­ing to Ngubane, while she was in the toi­let she felt pres­sure and the baby be­gan com­ing out.

She tried to stand and ended up giv­ing birth in the toi­let.

“I caught the baby and pat­ted his back. He was blue and not cry­ing.

“I cried for help and only one nurse came and asked me to walk to the bed while car­ry­ing the baby,” she said.

Ngubane said she walked with the baby with the um­bil­i­cal cord still hang­ing out of her and at­tached to the baby.

The child, she said, had dark blue lips.

Ngubane be­lieves that the nurses did not re­act ap­pro­pri­ately be­cause her pregnancy was fine un­til the day she de­liv­ered her baby.

Mu­dau had been told that he would be able to leave with Ngubane and the baby on the very same day.

He in­deed re­ceived a call on the day telling him to come and fetch his part­ner and son.

“I was called by the clinic to fetch her and the child. I was not aware that she had given birth to the baby in the toi­let un­til she told me what hap­pened. The baby was fine al­though he had blue or pur­ple lips,” said Mu­dau.

“I saw some­thing was wrong with the baby but I did not pay much at­ten­tion to it,” Mu­dau said.

The fol­low­ing day the in­fant strug­gled to breast­feed and was rest­less through­out the morn­ing, ac­cord­ing to Ngubane and Mu­dau.

The cou­ple took the in­fant back to the clinic and a cou­ple of hours later they were told that Orifha had died.

“He was born on the 9 Fe­bru­ary and passed away on 10 Fe­bru­ary,” said Ngubane.

The 37-year-old fa­ther told The Star that the death of his son pained him and he thought the med­i­cal staff had not treated his part­ner’s case se­ri­ously.

“What I don’t un­der­stand is why there were no proper pro­ce­dures when the nurse found out that the baby was born in the toi­let.

“The prob­lem was that the nurses showed a neg­a­tive at­ti­tude to­wards my part­ner from the mo­ment she walked into the clinic,” said Mu­dau.

“I want to know if the clinic’s pol­icy al­lows for pa­tients in labour to give birth in the toi­let,” he said.

The South African Po­lice Ser­vice’s Soweto West spokesper­son, Cap­tain Mpande Khoza, con­firmed that an in­quest case had been opened at the Moroka Po­lice Sta­tion and that the case was un­der in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

The Gaut­eng Depart­ment of Health’s Prince Hamca said the depart­ment was also in­ves­ti­gat­ing the mat­ter.

“We are go­ing to en­gage with the clinic man­age­ment and the pa­tient to as­cer­tain what tran­spired. That will in­form what re­course action to take there­after,” said Hamca.

I caught the baby and pat­ted his back. He was blue and not cry­ing


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