Newborn dies after bouncing on floor

2013-01-21 09:38
Janine Meiring tells how her premature baby died following a nightmare labour at Kalafong hospital. (Liza van Deventer, Beeld)

Janine Meiring tells how her premature baby died following a nightmare labour at Kalafong hospital. (Liza van Deventer, Beeld)

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Johannesburg - A Pretoria mother has told how her premature baby died following her nightmare labour at Kalafong hospital, during which the baby fell on the floor, bounced, and the umbilical cord tore off.

Janine Meiring, 33, said a doctor was present when the baby was born but he ignored her pleas and smiled at her, telling her to pick up her baby, reported Beeld.

“I am seething. My tears ran dry. I don’t want recompense, but for the doctor to be scrapped from the register. He should not work with women or children,” said Meiring, who is considering legal action.

Premature labour

Meiring was 27 weeks pregnant when she went into labour on Christmas Eve with baby Donovan and was taken to Kalafong Hospital in Atteridgeville, which was apparently short-staffed. There were no porters or wheelchairs.

Meiring told how she was made to walk to the sonar room despite painful contractions.

"I could not keep it in anymore and in the sonar room struggled to get on to the bed and vomited. The doctor walked in and did the sonar, but ignored me when I asked about the baby."

She was then told to walk back to the nurses on her own.

"I said I could not and cried. The contractions were out of control. He insisted I had to get off the bed and helped me off. I had hardly taken two steps when I felt the baby’s head with my hand. I told the doctor I could feel his head, but he said I should not touch there and pulled my hand away.

"Then the baby arrived and slipped through my fingers onto the floor.”


According to Meiring, the baby landed so hard on the floor that he bounced and hit his head a second time; Donovan’s umbilical cord was ripped in two.

"I just looked at the doctor in disbelief. With a smile told me I had to pick up the baby. He did nothing to help me."

Meiring picked up her baby and ran to the nurses as he was struggling to breathe. The little boy later died and a paediatrician said his death could have been caused by the head injury, blood loss due to the ruptured umbilical cord, infection or undeveloped lungs because of the premature birth.

A hospital spokesperson said the incident was being investigated.


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