Min­istry of Health in­ves­ti­gates Gwanda Hospi­tal af­ter baby loses arm

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Chronicle - Whins­ley Masara

A MONTH old baby has had her right arm am­pu­tated af­ter nurses at Gwanda Pro­vin­cial Hospi­tal al­legedly mu­ti­lated it while try­ing to in­sert a can­nula.

The Min­istry of Health and Child Care yes­ter­day said it had launched an in­ves­ti­ga­tion into the al­leged neg­li­gence by nurses at the hospi­tal.

Gan­grene had set in on the arm and it was sur­gi­cally re­moved at the United Bu­l­awayo Hos­pi­tals (UBH) on Tues­day.

The fam­ily has en­gaged lawyers to rep­re­sent them in de­mand­ing com­pen­sa­tion from the hospi­tal.

Andile’s fa­ther, Mr Tha­bani Galaweni, said he was bit­ter that his daugh­ter would grow up with­out an arm be­cause hospi­tal staff slept on duty.

“We’re dev­as­tated by the fact that due to the hospi­tal staff ’s neg­li­gence, Andile has had to un­dergo this hor­ri­ble or­deal that may af­fect her for life. I’ve to sim­ply ac­cept what has hap­pened though and thank God for the suc­cess of the op­er­a­tion but frankly, I’m very hurt,” said an emo­tional Mr Galaweni.

“Words can­not ex­press what I feel. We’ve since en­gaged lawyers and we’re def­i­nitely su­ing the hospi­tal for the pro­tec­tion of other pa­tients.”

Miss Pa­tience Chika­hamadze (25), the baby’s mother, said Andile was born at the health in­sti­tu­tion on July 22 when she went to visit rel­a­tives in Gwanda.

The baby, she said, was ad­mit­ted for rou­tine ob­ser­va­tion on July 29 af­ter she was said to be de­hy­drated.

“We’re thankful to God that the op­er­a­tion was a suc­cess. We were wor­ried that our an­gel wouldn’t make it. She looked so frail af­ter her arm started rot­ting. She’s still in the in­ten­sive care unit,” she said.

Miss Chika­hamadze said Andile had been booked for surgery on Mon­day but the doc­tor de­cided she had to first re­cover from flu first. “The de­lay in the op­er­a­tion pro­ce­dure was what was wor­ry­ing me most, but I guess it was all in good time,” she said.

Miss Chika­hamadze said she would never for­get July 29, 2016, when she shed tears as she watched nurses prick­ing her daugh­ter all over her arm in a vain at­tempt to in­sert the can­nula as they could not lo­cate a vein to put a drip.

“They pricked my baby on al­most 10 parts of her body and she wailed piteously. When they even­tu­ally forced it in, two pints of fluid were pumped into her arm be­fore the drip stopped flow­ing and her arm be­gan to swell,” she told The Chron­i­cle last week

“We tried to tell the nurses on duty that some­thing seemed amiss but they cut us short. They said they knew bet­ter. My baby’s con­di­tion be­gan to de­te­ri­o­rate and she cried a lot in­di­cat­ing she was in pain. Nurses that I won’t men­tion by name turned a deaf ear and in­stead con­cen­trated on their phones.”

Miss Chika­hamadze said Andile’s body tem­per­a­ture shot up to about 40 de­grees.

“The can­nula was stuck on my baby’s arm for over a week, although we could see that the arm was get­ting in­fected. The arm was get­ting de­hy­drated and skin on her whole body be­gan to peel off. Still no one was will­ing to lis­ten to our pleas as they claimed to know bet­ter.

“The baby’s con­di­tion de­te­ri­o­rated un­til she looked like she had been scalded with a hot liq­uid on the arm,” she said, sti­fling sobs.

Andile was even­tu­ally trans­ferred to Bu­l­awayo on Au­gust 8.

Mata­bele­land South pro­vin­cial med­i­cal di­rec­tor Dr Brian Maponga said a for­mal in­ves­ti­ga­tion had been in­sti­tuted.

“A multi-dis­ci­plinary team is do­ing the for­mal in­quiries and we ex­pect that to be through by the end of this month. We will be able to re­spond through our of­fi­cial struc­tures then,” he said. — @win­nie_­masara.

Baby Andile af­ter the op­er­a­tion

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