Hospitals turn away man with chopped off hand

Johannesburg - A 21-year-old man, who needed emergency surgery after his hand had been chopped off, was turned away by two state hospitals due to a public service strike, paramedics said on Friday.

"In a case such as this, time is of the essence as the tissue can die," said ER24 spokesperson Werner Vermaak.

"Paramedics found a man in Vereeniging with his hand chopped off; the hand was placed on ice and the patient had to be transported to a hospital for emergency surgery to reattach the hand."

The man was turned away by both Charlotte Maxeke and Chris Hani Baragwanath hospitals, where striking health workers severely disrupted services.

"ER24 paramedics had to airlift a man from Vereeniging to Steve Biko hospital in Pretoria when two major specialist hospitals were closed in Johannesburg," said Vermaak.

He said ER24 had since not been able to get through to Steve Biko hospital for an update on the man's condition.

Argument over woman

Police spokesperson Warrant-Officer Aubrey Moopeloa said the man's friend chopped his hand off with a panga in Sharpeville during an argument over a girlfriend.

Vermaak said the strike was placing the so-called "golden hour" under threat.

"In the past few years, paramedics are trying to stress the importance of the Golden Hour where a patient needs to be seen by a specialist within 60 minutes of his or her injury."

He said ER24 had been turned away from Charlotte Maxeke, Chris Hani Baragwanath, Helen Joseph, Tambo Memorial and Ernest Oppenheimer hospitals.

"Since the strikes and riots broke out at various hospitals across the country, paramedics are struggling to enter hospital grounds to hand patients over.

"In certain areas ambulances were allowed in, but could not hand the patient over as there were limited staff and the patient had to be transferred to another facility," said Vermaak.
 

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For 14 free days, you can have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today. Thereafter you will be billed R75 per month. You can cancel anytime and if you cancel within 14 days you won't be billed. 
Subscribe to News24
Rand - Dollar
15.69
+1.0%
Rand - Pound
19.74
+0.5%
Rand - Euro
16.75
+0.3%
Rand - Aus dollar
11.17
+0.3%
Rand - Yen
0.12
+1.0%
Gold
1,860.26
+0.7%
Silver
22.12
+1.7%
Palladium
2,042.50
+3.7%
Platinum
976.50
+1.9%
Brent Crude
112.55
+0.5%
Top 40
62,055
+1.7%
All Share
68,666
+1.6%
Resource 10
75,173
+3.7%
Industrial 25
73,320
+0.5%
Financial 15
15,939
+1.2%
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes Iress logo
Editorial feedback and complaints

Contact the public editor with feedback for our journalists, complaints, queries or suggestions about articles on News24.

LEARN MORE