Equipment shortage delays op 4 times

2012-01-23 07:53
Johannesburg - A woman who is trying to get a painful incisional hernia repaired has had her surgery postponed four times by the Helen Joseph Hospital because of a lack of equipment, The Star reported on Monday.

Maria Robertson was first told there was no oxygen in theatre and her surgery was postponed.

On a second occasion, she told there was no sterile equipment. And on a third occasion she was told there was no ICU bed.

When Robertson, 52, was placed under anaesthetic and wheeled to a surgical ward last Thursday, she hoped she would wake up to find the bulge gone but that was not to be.

This time, doctors realised they had no mesh pad to continue with the operation.

She is scheduled to return to the hospital next month. For now she will continue to live with the bulge, often mistaken for pregnancy. She spends most of her days indoors to avoid being asked if she is pregnant.

"If it wasn't painful, I wouldn't go back. I don't have money to go to a private hospital. It is so painful, we had to move house so we can get a house with a shower because getting into a bathtub is a mission," Robertson said.

The provincial department was not available to comment when contacted by the newspaper.

Read more on:    johannesburg  |  health

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