Hospital blamed for death

2010-02-18 00:00

A KWAMPUMUZA family is blaming Edendale Hospital nurses for the death of their family member, Thobile Khumalo, on Sunday.

Khumalo (37) was admitted to the hospital on Thursday. She suffered from cancer of the ovary.

Relative Stishi Dlamini said Khumalo fell out of her hospital bed on Friday evening, face first, and was only picked up on Saturday morning.

Pictures of her bruised face taken by the family from the mortuary are evidence of her fall, they said.

She died on Sunday morning and her family believes that if she had been attended to on the night she fell, she might have survived.

“We understand the gravity of her illness, but we still believe that the fall did play a part in her death. She spent the whole of Friday night on the floor with a bruised face and probably in pain. What kind of treatment is that for people who are already in pain and [who] need to be cared for,” asked Dlamini.

He said patients from the same ward said they saw her fall off her bed, but when the family questioned the nurses on duty, they said they had put her on the floor themselves.

Hospital spokeswoman Samke Mncube said the matter was repor­ted to the Health Department and that an investigation is underway.

However, she said the patient ne­ver fell from her bed.

“The cause of [the] patient’s death is not related to the alleged fall. The hospital cannot divulge any further information as the patient’s confidentiality is protected under the Patients Rights Charter. The family can request it and will be provided with relevant information,” said Mncube.

The Democratic Alliance (DA) slammed the “inhumane treatment” meted out to Khumalo.

DA spokesman for health Radley Keys said, on his visit to the hospital, he discovered that the deceased was left lying on the floor until 4 am on Saturday.

He said he was told the night duty sister claimed that the deceased was put on the floor on a mattress as she was very restless.

“We cannot accept that explanation as she sustained a severe blow to the head, and she was reportedly bleeding from her mouth. Further, we understand that no report was submitted to the hospital management regarding the incident,” said Keys.

He stated that the poor treatment is an indictment on the quality of care offered by some nursing staff to patients, and indicative of insufficient staff being assigned to look after the patients.

On the night in question, Keys said only two nursing staff were on duty to attend to 38 patients.

Join the conversation! 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. 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 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.