Court orders Health Dept to pay girl (4) for negligence

2014-07-14 00:00

THE Pietermaritzburg High Court has granted an interim order for the KwaZulu-Natal Health Department to pay for the expenses of a Durban girl born mentally and physically handicapped because of medical negligence at the Inanda Newtown C Clinic and Mahatma Gandhi Memorial Hospital.

Judge Jerome Mnguni granted the order that R163 172 be paid to four-year-old Nomfundo Sikhosana’s family by the Department of Health. Nomfundo has irreversible brain damage, is blind, partially deaf and will remain totally dependent on others for the rest of her life, her mother’s affidavit in court said.

Hospital staff allegedly failed to adequately monitor the maternal and foetal conditions during the last phase of labour, or to monitor her high blood pressure.

Sikhosana said at 2 am that morning she was recorded as having eclampsia, a life-threatening complication of pregnancy causing seizures and coma. At 2.50 am she suffered a seizure, was foaming at the mouth and had stiffness of the limbs. The baby was delivered by Caesarean section.

Nomfundo visits a speech therapist twice weekly, and an occupational therapist and a physiotherapist once a week.

However, the family said she will also need ongoing and long-term neurodevelopmental therapy, physiotherapy, occupational therapy, and speech and language therapy.

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