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Johannesburg - Did staff at an Ekurhuleni hospital not exercise caution while treating an 80-year-old man, resulting in him falling and seriously injuring his head while in their care?
Or was the old man’s son aware of the injuries when he took his father to the hospital and now wants to blame the hospital for the injuries which he also believes to have contributed to his death?
On July 2, Isaiah Mabona was sitting on a couch at his Etwatwa home when he collapsed.
His son, Bafana Mabona, said the couch was a double-seater, and when his father collapsed, he came to rest on it with his head on a cushion.
An ambulance was called and duly arrived.
Ekurhuleni Emergency Services spokesman William Ntladi said paramedics who transported Mabona to Far East Rand Hospital had done a head-to-toe inspection on him before handing him over to the hospital staff, and found he had no injuries.
Bafana said he had followed the ambulance in his car until he saw to his father’s admission at the hospital.
When he returned the next morning, he got the shock of his life. Isaiah had head injuries that had been stitched up.
“I asked him what had happened, and he could not tell me much and he said he did not know.
“It seemed as if he was losing his mind. When I asked him what his name was, he would say something else.
“I asked the nurses in the ward how he had sustained the injuries, but they said they did not know and that he came from the casualty ward like that,” he said.
Bafana said he had laid a complaint the following day at the hospital’s quality assurance department.
He had been told there would be an investigation into events between the casualty ward and the ward to which his father was finally admitted.
Bafana said although his father’s condition had not improved, he had been discharged on July 9.
“He did not even know who I was; he kept asking me who I was.
“I asked the sisters why they were discharging him while he was like that and whether it was okay for him to be taken home. They said they didn’t know anything; the doctor was the one who knew.”
Bafana said the hospital called him again on August 1 to bring his father back to the hospital.
Upon arrival, he found that his father’s file had gone missing, and a new one had to be opened.
His father was now wearing nappies. Although he was discharged on August 8, he was still not getting better. He died at home on August 11.
While the hospital told him his father had died of a stroke, Bafana believes the head injuries must have contributed to his death.
He returned to the hospital last week in the hope that he would get answers, but all he received were condolences, he said.
Department of Health spokesman Simon Zwane denied the hospital was to blame.
They did not know how Mabona sustained the head injury but they had deduced that it was at home when he collapsed, Zwane said.
But Bafana disagrees.
“When he was taken to the hospital he was not injured. He was not bleeding, and all of a sudden he has stitches on his head… the hospital does not know who stitched my father up.”
Zwane said Mabona was found to have sustained lacerations on the side and near the skull. No abnormalities were found on an X-ray. His wounds were stitched up.
“On second admission, the patient was diagnosed with hypertension, head trauma and a stroke.
“During his stay at the hospital, the patient was refusing to eat and was on intravenous infusion.
“The quality assurance team will be asked to review the treatment the patient received while at the hospital,” Zwane said.