Johannesburg: A two-week-old baby who was admitted to hospital for diarrhoea and put on a drip had to have her hand amputated after it turned green.
It is suspected that the drip was left unmonitored for the duration of the child’s stay in hospital.
She was rushed to a tertiary hospital and when she got there, specialists tried to save her hand.
However, there was nothing more they could do and her hand was amputated.
Mpumalanga Premier Refilwe Mtshweni-Tsipane said the inciden was nothing less than negligence and that all the hospital staff who treated the baby must be suspended with immediate effect.
“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.
The baby was admitted to the Bernice Samuel Hospital in Delmas on March 30 after the mother complained that she had been having diarrhoea.
She was put on a drip. However, the next day, the child’s hand had turned green.
As there are no specialists at the rural Delmas hospital, she 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.
Mtshweni-Tsipane has assured the family that a thorough investigation would be conducted. She said the family were offered counselling.
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.”