Baby dies after medics refuse to help him

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Groote Schuur INLSA Groote Schuur Hospital. Photo: Leon Lestrade

Cape Town - The Provincial Department of Health intends taking action against Groote Schuur medics who allegedly turned away a sickly four-month-old baby this week.

Baby Mason Blaauw later died on Monday evening after medical staff told his mother, chef Carol Blaauw, that “we don’t do babies”.

They allegedly failed to stabilise him first as required by law. The baby had diarrhoea and a temperature of over 40 degrees, but they told Blaauw and her friend Christopher North to take him to Red Cross Children’s Hospital.

They could not find the hospital and landed up at Vincent Pallotti Hospital instead, where Mason died despite efforts by staff to save him. Darren Francis, spokesman for the provincial Department of Health, said the hospital “regrets the incident”.

“However, the department will take action against staff who were responsible in treating the patient.

The department regrets the situation and are putting plans in place at hospitals to make sure that this never happens again,” he said.

Francis said the hospital management would meet Mason’s parents as part of its investigation process into his death.

North, Blaauw’s housemate, said: “It’s been the most difficult time of my life, and Carol is absolutely distraught… she can’t even talk about it. It shouldn’t have happened.”

North said that after they got to the hospital they spent the first 20 minutes being moved from pillar to post by staff, including security guards.

“Before we even got to the hospital we were turned away by a security guard who said we shouldn’t go in as the hospital didn’t treat babies.

“Eventually we went in, and at some point we were taken to the maternity section, but a nurse there said they didn’t deal with sick babies.

“When we eventually arrived at the trauma unit a nurse took the baby from Carol’s arms and tested his temperature.

“But she quickly put her back in her arms and instructed us to rush him to Red Cross. A doctor who was there also said the same thing… that they don’t do babies as they have no facilities for them,” he said.

North said that despite the death having happened on Monday night, the family still had not been contacted by the hospital management, to apologise or offer their condolences. [email protected]

Cape Argus

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