Two mothers seek answers after ’negligence’ from Tshwane hospitals
Pretoria - Two mothers, aged 16 and 35, are desperately seeking answers from the Department of Health after one lost her newborn while the other’s is fighting for her life.
Both distraught mothers cite utter negligence from Pretoria West Hospital Folateng and Kalafong Hospital in Atteridgeville.
The 35-year-old, who wished to remain anonymous, said she had been expecting her third child, but on the day she was due to deliver, her joy quickly turned into horror, when she was made to wait more than eight hours to be attended to at Pretoria West Hospital Folateng.
“I arrived at the hospital after 1am and only got assistance at about 8am.
“The only time the nurses attended to me in the waiting area was around 3am to check my blood pressure. I was in immense pain but the nurses said I must relax,” she said.
It was at about 9am when she was eventually moved to a ward. “I felt a throbbing pain and yelled, so one of the patients ran to the nurses. When the nurse examined me she said the baby had excreted faeces inside of me … at that moment I died a little.” It was then that a doctor attended to her and she was referred to theatre for a C-section.
“The doctor told me there were two patients before me, so I ended up going inside around 2pm. The baby had complications with breathing, so we were referred to Kalafong.”
Her mother got there at about 7pm, only to be allowed to see her at 10pm.
“Doctors explained to me that my baby needed machines to breathe … so a tough decision was made to switch off the machines. I pleaded with the doctors that the father see our baby. The machines were switched off on October 24.”
Two days later she was discharged with no provisional help. “I blame Pretoria West Hospital, had they given me the necessary attention, my baby would still be alive. They need to pay. I know it won’t bring my baby back, But it can’t just end like that.”
She said no contact had been made from both the hospitals since the incident occurred.
Telling her tale of woe too was the 16-year-old young mother from Lotus Gardens, who said she was forced to give birth on a wheelchair on October 29 after she was rushed by ambulance to hospital.
Experiencing labour pains already, she arrived at the emergency section only to be told to go to the maternity ward. While on her way, she came across a man who offered to take her to the ward on a wheelchair.
She gave birth in the wheelchair, she said, and requested not to be named for fear of being victimised further. “For several days I was kept in the dark on my baby’s condition. I didn’t know if my son was gaining or losing weight. The treatment was bad, with nurses making nasty remarks that I’m a baby myself and should not be having a baby. Coupled with that the condition of the hospital is appalling, the toilets are dirty.”
Yesterday she said the latest update from the doctor was that she and her child might be discharged next year.
Department spokesperson Kwara Kekana said the first baby was born with congenital abnormalities (congenital myopathy) incompatible with life. “The parents were counselled,” Kekana said.