Swift response to injured pupil hailed

2015-02-17 00:00

THE rapid response to evacuate a six-year-old pupil who fell two floors at a Tongaat school yesterday, may have given the youngster the edge in recovery.

Sizwe Bhengu was playing with his friends on the second storey at Tongaat Primary School when he allegedly fell through a gap in the railings, sustaining a serious head injury. All this happened just before the first lesson.

Images circulated by Emergency Medical Rescue Service clearly show large gaps in the railings, seemingly big enough for a small child to fall through.

And while his condition has been explained as “critical” with concern over the 10 minutes he lay before emergency services arrived, medical staff who attended to the boy lauded the quick response by private paramedics and the Department of Health’s airlift service.

Dr Grant Lindsay, a doctor at the ­nearby Victoria Hospital in Tongaat, commended the private medical services for immediately tending to Sizwe.

“In the past, and this is slowly ­changing, private operators would ask about medical aid beforehand but the paramedics worked together and got the boy out of there very quickly.”

IPSS and Netcare911 were at the school within 10 to 15 minutes after the ­pupil fell. After accessing the child, the state Emergency Medical Services ­helicopter was called — arriving six ­minutes later, airlifting the boy to King Edward Hospital.

First respondent from IPSS Paul Herbst said Sizwe fell on a concrete step, causing head trauma. “We immediately started using a manual ventilator. There were no obvious breaks and a small ­laceration on the head but the concern is any internal bleeding,” said Herbst.

Sizwe’s mother, Zwakele Motha, said she was doing “okay” but she was “not sure yet” about Sizwe.

“I can only comment once I have seen the results,” she said.

Tongaat residents took to Facebook as residents offered their “hopes and prayers” to the family asking for the child to be “healed”.

Local councillor Steve Naidoo said the school acted very quickly. “As a ­community we are encouraged by the ­response to save the child’s health.”

The school would not comment. The Department of Education said it was still making inquiries into the matter.

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