Elderly woman dies after being sent home

2010-09-04 00:00

DEATHS due to hospital disruptions continue to mount as the public sector strike drags on.

On Thursday night an elderly patient died after Northdale Hospital could not admit her overnight, apparently due to their depleted workforce.

Nomusa Mkhize (76), a frail patient at the SAVF old age home, was taken to Northdale suffering from hypertension, dementia and a heart condition.

At about 3 pm the hospital called the home to say they would not be keeping Mkhize overnight.

She was sent back by ambulance with a drip in her arm.

Staff at the home said that when the drip ran dry, they had to remove it themselves, and when checking her vital signs they found her blood pressure was low.

They said they called the district surgeon at the hospital, who advised them to bring her back, but she died before they could take her there.

Henry Spencer, a manager at the home, said they believe the strike contributed to Mkhize’s death.

“I do not blame the hospital for her death, but I believe that the strike contributed.

“The workers at the hospital did everything they could; it’s just that there was not enough workers to help with the situation.”

Spencer described the situation as tantamount to elder abuse.

“What is of concern to me is that although the state hospitals are themselves attempting to carry on, in spite of the circumstances, the strike is contributing to deaths.

“We talk about the cost of the strike in monetary terms but what about the cost of human lives?”

Attempts to contact Health Department spokesperson Chris Maxon for comment were unsuccessful.

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.