Child dies after fall in Chatsworth hospital

2016-04-21 06:00

THE recent death of a three-year-old child at a Chatsworth hospital has sparked an official inquiry after her parents accused the hospital of medical negligence.

Zuhaira Mohammed was admitted to RK Khan Hospital on Friday, 8 April after she had been complaining of headaches. According to the child’s mother, Rahima (27), Zuhaira was examined by the family’s general practitioner, who advised them to get a second opinion at the hospital.

“After seeing our doctor, we took Zuhaira to hospital for further examination, where she had a blood test and lumber-puncture to test for meningitis. After the results came back negative, the doctor told me they would like to keep my daughter overnight for observation,” said Rahima.

The grieving mother said doctors conducted no further tests to discover the cause of her daughter’s headaches when she was admitted to the hospital on the Friday.

“Early on Saturday morning, at around 5.30am, the nurses came into Zuhaira’s room and asked me to leave as the shift was changing and they wanted to clean the ward.

“Not long after this, a doctor came up to me and said that my daughter “had jumped from her cot”. I then ran into her room and found her lying on the floor in a pool of blood – the doctor did not even bother to pick up my child,” said Rahima, who added that despite calling hospital staff for help, nobody came to assist them.

“Not a single nurse or doctor came to help my daughter and I was the one who picked her up off the floor and cleaned the blood from her head and face.”

According to Rahima, her daughter’s condition worsened rapidly after the fall as her eyes rolled back into her head and she slipped in and out of consciousness.

“Zuhaira’s condition took a U-turn after the fall, and it was only after this happened that the doctor took my daughter for a CT scan to determine the cause of her headaches. She would not wake up, and I feel they took her for a CT scan too late as my child was already dead. I do not understand why a scan was not done the day before,”she said.

Angry and hurt at the poor standard of care her daughter received from doctors and nurse at RK Khan, Rahima added that no one from the hospital or the KZN health department apologised in any way or offered their condolences for the death of her child, which she said was “unacceptable”.

Rahima added that shortly after she died, her daughter was taken for a post-mortem examination to determine the cause of her untimely death. The results of the exam will apparently take two to eight months.

The Weekly approached the health department for a statement on this matter, but they were unable to submit a response before going to press.

Zuhaira’s funeral was last Tuesday, 12 April and scores of people amassed to pay their respects to the Mohammed family.

“My husband and I are desperate for answers. We just do not know how any of this happened,” said Rahima.

Zuhaira’s condition took a U-turn after the fall, and it was only after this happened that the doctor took my daughter for a CT scan to determine the cause of her headaches.

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