Lawyer chided on medical reports

2013-06-27 00:00

WHAT really killed Lungile Wambi?

This question is expected to be answered by medical experts who will be called to testify in the RTI recruitment commission of inquiry.

The inquiry yesterday delved into the real cause of the death of Lungile Wambi (30) on December 28 during the RTI fitness test, which allegedly led to the death of eight people last year.

His elder brother Mthetho Wambi was on the stand for the second day, being cross-examined by senior counsel Ravi Padayachee, representing the Department of Transport.

Padayachee told the commission that according to the ambulance records, Lungile’s treatment by paramedics began at 3.03 pm at Harry Gwala stadium. He left the stadium at 3.08 pm by ambulance.

“While in the ambulance he was given CPR (cardiac pulmonary resuscitation) because he had no central pulses and was not breathing,” he said.

During their trip to Grey’s Hospital, Lungile was given a drip, which Padayachee said did nothing to improve his low blood sugar level of 2,5 millimoles per litre when he left the stadium.

“When he was admitted to the hospital his glucose reading was 2,1, which meant that the medication given to Lungile was not working and his glucose level only increased when they gave him dextrose to enhance his glucose,” said Padayachee.

He said when Lungile was infused with dextrose his glucose level rose to 13,7, which meant that his sugar level was higher than normal because glucose levels should be “between 3,5 to 7,5”.

“According to medical reports this was not endangering his life,” he said.

But the chairperson of the commission, senior counsel Thandi Norman, was not happy with the reading of medical reports by Padayachee.

Norman said medical records “should be left to medical personnel only”.

Wambi said from the medical records read by Padayachee, he concluded that the Department of Transport was responsible for his brother having suffered dehydration, which led to the low sugar levels. He also blamed the Department of Health for giving him the wrong treatment.

However, Padayachee said dehydration did not cause a person to have lower sugar levels and told the commission he would be bringing medical experts to testify that Lungile died after suffering a heart attack.

Wambi was confused about what led to the death of his brother, because the death certificate indicated he died from hyperthermia (meaning that his body had absorbed more heat than it could release), but Padayachee disputed this as speculation.

“What am I going to say killed my brother to my mother at home?” asked a confused Wambi.

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