Ntombethemba Apile, 36, said doctors at Mowbray Maternity Hospital broke her baby's arm while performing a C-section. Picture: Ross Jansen
Cape Town – A Philippi mother is living in agony after her newborn baby’s arm was broken during a caesarean section at Mowbray Maternity Hospital.

Ntombethemba Apile, 36, said her first encounter with her newborn son, Anam Apile, was filled with fear and anxiety.

Doctors broke the news that her newborn’s arm had been broken during the birthing procedure and she would have to wait a few weeks before a full medical examination would be done at the Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital.

“The doctor came to me in the theatre room and told me my son’s arm had been broken. That was just it. He didn’t say anything else and they told me I would get a letter referring us to Red Cross, where my child would be examined,” she said.

Apile said that during her stay at the hospital she was not guided on how to handle the infant’s injury; instead nurses told her to be grateful.

She was admitted on March 22. She gave birth the following day and was discharged last Monday. The referral letter to Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital is for April 18.

“At the hospital they gave me Panado to give him, but that medicine has finished. He cries when I bath him. I don’t know how to handle this,” she said.

Bianca Carls, the spokesperson for Mowbray Maternity Hospital, confirmed Apile had been a patient there.

“The baby sustained a greenstick fracture of the humerus, (meaning that the baby’s upper arm was fractured), as it was delivered."

“The obstetric doctor who delivered the baby immediately counselled the mother about the possibility of the injury. The obstetric doctor also informed the paediatrician about the possible injury."

“The fracture was confirmed on X-ray and the arm was promptly supported and stabilised, and analgesia was prescribed,” said Carls.

She said medical records showed that Apile had been counselled and hospital protocols were followed, and that the hospital was investigating the incident.

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Cape Argus