Dead foetus missing at hospital

By Drum Digital
17 March 2013

A dead foetus has gone missing from a hospital in Springs, the Gauteng health department said on Sunday.

"The foetus apparently disappeared... after a patient was admitted to the hospital after giving birth to a dead seven-month-old foetus at SA Social Security Agency's offices in Springs," department spokesman Simon Zwane said.

Paramedics took the woman to the Far East Rand hospital last week and handed the dead foetus to a health worker in the casualty ward.

"The health worker allegedly placed the foetus in the sluice-room with the intention that it would be taken to the mortuary."

Later that evening, night staff went to the room and discovered the foetus was missing.

"They however failed to report the matter to management."

Management only became aware of the incident three days later, when the mother and her husband came to the hospital mortuary with an undertaker to collect the foetus.

"The MEC [Hope Papo] said the incident reflected non-compliance to protocols and procedures which were supposed to have been followed when handling the dead foetus on the day," Zwane said.

A list of staff members involved has been collated and statements taken. A disciplinary hearing is due to take place soon.

"Police will also be called in to investigate how the foetus was handled and who is to blame for its disappearance."

-Sapa

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