Baby’s death to be probed

2015-03-06 00:00

THE KZN Health Department has promised to investigate the circumstances surrounding the death of a baby at Northdale Hospital, but this is of little comfort to the mother, who wants the staff responsible punished.

The department yesterday responded saying that it would look into serious allegations claimed by the teenage mother whose baby boy died while she was giving birth at the weekend.

Spokesperson Sam Mkhwanazi said, “The KZN Department of Health has noted with concern issues raised [about Northdale Hospital] … The department views these matters in a serious light, we will request a full report from the concerned institution.”

The mother, who is receiving counselling at Grey’s Hospital, said the investigation “won’t bring my baby back”.

The 16-year-old, who cannot be named because she is a minor, felt pain in her abdomen on Saturday night. Her family rushed her to the hospital, where she was allegedly ill-treated by nurses.

After enduring four hours of pain and struggling to deliver, the nurses used forceps to try to pull the baby out. When that failed, a vacuum machine was tried but also failed. Another machine was used, but this also malfunctioned and the baby was eventually delivered in theatre.

“I want them to pay for what they did,” said the mother.

Her sister vowed to lay charges against the hospital.

“No one has called me from the hospital to apologise or explain to us what happened that day; it’s so frustrating,” she said.

Another woman who also lost a baby at Northdale Hospital called The Witness to share her story and encouraged the community to rally together to prevent more deaths.

Vanessa Ramlall (22) said she had been due to deliver by Caesarean section. However, when she was admitted at the hospital on December 28, six centimetres dilated, nurses allegedly told her that she would give birth naturally. They then changed their minds and took her to theatre to perform a Caesarean.

“When I woke up, the baby was gone. They told my husband that I had nearly died. But that is not true,” she said, adding that she was certain the baby had been born alive, but had died later in unknown circumstances.

Ramlall wants to contact other women who have had similar incidents at Northdale Hospital, with a view to taking collective action to get answers for their experiences.

Ramlall can be contacted at 078 446 9121.

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