Child’s wait in agony at hospital

2015-10-27 11:34
Northdale Hospital

Northdale Hospital (File)

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Pietermaritzburg - A 4-year-old boy with severe burns was made to wait 12 hours before he received treatment, allegedly due to staff shortages at Northdale Hospital.

With severe second-degree burns to his upper body and right arm after boiling water fell on him, the young boy was initially rushed to Bruntville Clinic from his home in Balgowan by his aunt.

The clinic called an ambulance and the boy was immediately rushed to Northdale hospital.

DA MPL Dr Imram Keeka, who visited the young boy and his parents in hospital last Thursday, said when the boy arrived at Northdale he was told to go to Edendale Hospital, as they allegedly said they were too full to treat him.

Upon arriving at Edendale, the boy and his aunt were told that he could not be treated at Edendale, as no one from Northdale had phoned to let them know.

“The little boy and his aunt were sent back to Northdale where they waited all night before finally seeing a doctor at 10:00 on the Sunday, who immediately admitted him,” said Keeka.

“The DA is appalled by the lack of compassion displayed by hospital officials.

“One can only imagine the pain this child must have endured, let alone loss of body fluid and possible infection.”

Keeka said the trips between hospitals had delayed treatment significantly and could have had life-threatening consequences.

“This incident tells us that there was nobody available to triage this little boy, to evaluate how serious his condition was and to take urgent and necessary steps,” said Keeka.

“The reality is that if KZN’s citizens were to hold their breath waiting for more doctors and nurses to be employed, they would simply die of suffocation.”

He said last week he tabled a motion during a sitting at the KZN Legislature that called for the crisis of the shortages of doctors and nurses to be addressed.

Keeka said the motion included the following:

• Realise the importance of critical medical posts and make certain that they are immediately unfrozen;

• Understand the crisis and appeal to the premier, in particular, to ensure that fiscal savings are directed to service delivery and the employment of more doctors and nurses.

The boy’s mother, who would not be named, said that despite the delay, Northdale Hospital had treated her son with the utmost care and concern and her son was “doing very well”.

Spokesperson for the KZN Department of Health, Agiza Hlongwane said: “The inquiry is noted. The department will be in a position to comment once it has gathered all the facts.”

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  health

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