Hospital 'negligent' after man dies from bedsore infection

2016-03-07 10:52
David ‘Tony’ Dixon died in January this year after alleged neglect by Addington Hospital. Dixon is pictured in a Harvard at Swartkops Airforce Base on his 70th birthday.

David ‘Tony’ Dixon died in January this year after alleged neglect by Addington Hospital. Dixon is pictured in a Harvard at Swartkops Airforce Base on his 70th birthday. (Supplied)

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Pietermaritzburg - A Durban man’s family is considering legal action, believing that the city’s Addington Hospital was negligent while he was admitted there.

David “Tony” Dixon, 70, allegedly died due to the severe infection of a bed sore on January 20 this year, which developed during a 37-day stay at the hospital.

Dixon, a former maintenance manager for a Durban property group, was admitted to Addington on November 8 last year after falling and injuring himself.

His son, Neil, said Dixon’s condition deteriorated rapidly once admitted to Addington.

“My father developed a pressure sore on his back while he was in hospital. It definitely was not there before he was admitted,” he said.

“The size of the ulcer was the size of a man’s hand. When I went to visit him in hospital one day, I tried to roll him over and discovered mould on the sheets where the pressure sore had been placed.

“After the sore was identified, the nurses supposedly turned him over every two hours. However, the sore only got worse.”

- Health24: Bedsores

After Dixon was discharged, Neil took him to a private doctor in Pietermaritzburg, who said his father had suffered a stroke while in Addington and therefore had limited mobility.

“There is no mention of his stroke in hospital reports and nothing was ever said to me about the possibility.”

He said the doctor also examined the bed sore on his father’s back, as well as a second sore that had developed on his foot and was allegedly not recorded in hospital reports.

Neil said the doctor was “disgusted” that the sore had been allowed to develop to such a stage and said it “was the worst pressure sore” he had ever seen.

“The doctor cleaned the wound and advised that my father be taken to hospital for surgery on this ulcer. My father was not on medical aid so we paid to have him admitted to Mediclinic Pietermaritzburg for surgery.”

A few days after the surgery was performed, Neil moved his father to Edendale Hospital. “Edendale Hospital was clean and efficient and they did a great job, but unfortunately it was all too late.

“After a few days of continued pain and suffering, my father passed away as a direct result of severe infection from the bedsores.”

Neil said he had sent off the medical documents to a legal representative for assessment.

“When Edendale diagnosed his cause of death, they said it was a direct cause of the infection from the bed sore.

“I do not believe this is the first case and I hope that by bringing this to light, I can stop this from happening again.”

Neil said his father was a very active man who was always happy and his death had devastated the family.

“I am trying to cope, but when I think back on his time in hospital, I think he would still be alive if the hospital had done more.”

KZN Health Department spokesperson Sam Mkhwanazi said: “Regarding the medical condition and the management of the patient while under the care of a public health facility, we are not in a position to share this information as the law does not allow it to be shared with a third party.

“However, hospital records show that the patient received due care.”

Read more on:    durban  |  pietermaritzburg  |  health

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