Boy loses leg: Health ministry admits liability

2012-06-15 00:00

THE Ministry of Health has admitted liability for damages payable to the mother of a young Umlazi boy whose leg was amputated below the knee in 2008.

It was alleged in court papers that this was due to negligence by staff at Prince Mshiyeni Hospital and the Malukazi Clinic.

Evidence concerning the amount of damages payable will be heard by the high court between March 11 and March 15 next year.

Thokozani Mkhize, mother of Minenhle Mkhize, now nine years old, initially sued the Minister of Health for R3,3 million.

According to court papers, the child broke his ankle when he fell from a tree on April 28, 2008.

He was treated at Prince Mshiyeni as an outpatient and a plaster cast was fitted to his left leg below his knee.

The mother allegedly returned to the hospital the next day and told them he was still in excessive pain. Staff told her this was “normal” and that they should come back in three weeks.

She was again turned away from the hospital on May 2, and on May 5 she consulted the Malukazi Clinic. Staff there also concluded that all was in order.

On May 8 the boy could not move the toes on his left foot and his foot had gone dark.

On that day staff at the hospital took off the cast and admitted him to hospital.

The next day the boy and his mother were told that the blood supply to the left leg had been blocked and that an amputation was necessary.

The boy’s leg was amputated below the knee on May 14.

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