KZN Govt: Accepts liability for baby being paraplegic

2012-08-21 00:00

THE province has accepted liability for the plight of baby Buhle Nxumalo who was born with cerebral palsy and is a spastic paraplegic as a result of negligence by staff at Addington Hospital on December 30, 2002.

Buhle’s mother, Lulama Nxumalo, sued KZN’s premier and MEC for health for an amount of over R15 million (R15 833 063) in damages.

In terms of the draft order granted by consent by Judge Achmat Jappie yesterday, the province admitted liability, but the issue of the amount will be set down for determination by the court at a later date.

Nxumalo, who lives at Lusikisiki in the Eastern Cape, was admitted to Addington Hospital to give birth on December 30, 2002.

She alleged that the public could expect to receive maternity and obstetric health care services equal to the best standards in the country at Addington, a big city hospital.

Instead, she alleged, the staff failed to take notice of her complaints and discomfort, which indicated problems; failed to monitor and properly record the progress of labour; failed to react to signs of foetal distress and failed to perform a Caesarian section — which Nxumalo had requested — and could and should have been done.

The staff failed to recognise that the umbilical cord was wrapped around the baby’s neck and caused the baby to suffer severe asphyxia.

Their negligence resulted in Buhle suffering from cerebral palsy and being born a spastic quadriplegic.

He will be permanently disabled, blind and unable to speak. He will require the services of a part-time care­giver and future medical treatment.


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