Two KZN doctors, nurse suspended after patient's death

2015-07-14 19:33
(File: News24)

(File: News24)

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Durban - Two KwaZulu-Natal doctors and a nurse have been suspended following the death of a patient who was turned away from two state hospitals at the weekend.  

KwaZulu-Natal Health MEC Sibongiseni Dhlomo made the announcement on Tuesday after learning that a critical 19-year-old patient, injured during a car accident, was allegedly refused treatment at Osindisweni Hospital and Mahatma Gandhi Hospital.

Dhlomo said a district family physician had been appointed to lead the investigation and would report his findings within 48 hours.

“The Health Professions Council of South Africa and the Nurses Council will also be involved in this matter,” said Dhlomo.  

He said, according to a preliminary investigation by the department, it is alleged that a doctor at Osindisweni was supposed to assess the patient and resuscitate him.

“The patient was in a critical condition. She was also supposed to call for a senior doctor, who is a medical manager, and was within the premises. After stabilising the patient, she was then supposed to have called the doctor in a referral or regional hospital,” explained Dhlomo.

He said a nurse at the hospital failed to open an admission file for the patient and did not check for the vital signs.

At Mahatma Gandhi Hospital, the department found that the patient was not prioritised for emergency resuscitation.

“According to our report, the doctor was informed that there was a patient in a critical condition that required immediate attention and resuscitation.

“The doctor refused to treat the patient and told the paramedics that they should either take the patient back to Osindisweni or proceed to Addington Hospital.”

Dhlomo said the patient died while still on the stretcher, without having been given necessary attention.

Dhlomo said patients should be transported to the nearest health facility, regardless of whether it is a private or public health institution.

Read more on:    sibongiseni dhlomo  |  durban  |  health

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