Mother’s baby agony

2019-05-23 17:03
Baby. (Photo: Getty Images/Gallo Images)

Baby. (Photo: Getty Images/Gallo Images)

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A Northdale woman has many questions after nurses at a local clinic failed to detect that her unborn baby was in distress or was already dead when she went for a check-up.

The 40-year-old woman, who asked not to be named for fear of victimisation and because she is still traumatised, told The Witness that she had given birth to a stillborn girl after nurses at Northdale Clinic reassured her that the baby was fine.

The woman, who has four other children, was 35 weeks pregnant when she started experiencing pain and discomfort. She also noticed that her baby had stopped moving and decided to go to the Northdale government clinic on May 8.

“I told the nurse that I couldn’t feel the baby’s movements. She said everything was fine and the reason I couldn’t feel movement was because the baby had settled in the right place.”

She returned home but the pains continued, and she felt uneasy about her baby still not moving.

On Saturday, May 11, the woman decided to go to Northdale Hospital where she received the horrific news that the baby she was carrying had died.

“The nurse there did two ultrasounds and couldn’t detect baby’s heartbeat.

“She called a doctor who confirmed the baby had died a couple of days previously. I was not told what caused the baby’s death.

“I can’t help wondering whether my baby was already dead when I went to the clinic on Wednesday and the nurses failed to detect this or if they failed to detect that the baby was not doing well, which led to her dying. I really don’t know,” said the tearful woman.

On top of the trauma of learning that she had been carrying a dead foetus for the past couple of days, the woman also complained about the treatment she received at Northdale Hospital when she gave birth the next morning.

She alleges that she called for the nurses to assist her but the nurses on duty were arguing amongst themselves and only attended to her when she was already halfway through giving birth.

After giving birth, she said they left her lying on the bloodied sheets for hours.

“I was hoping that they would treat me with more dignity considering the trauma I had experienced. I am not happy with my entire experience. I feel absolutely terrible.

“I don’t want to lay any charges or sue the Health Department for negligence or anything like that because that won’t bring my baby back.

“I just want the department to ensure that something like this never happens again.

“No mother should ever experience the pain I went through,” said the woman.

She went on to advise other expectant mothers to always seek a second opinion when they feel something is not right with their pregnancies.

Spokesperson for the KwaZulu-Natal Department of Health Ncumisa Mafunda said, by law, the department is not allowed to divulge confidential patient clinical information or how patients are managed.

She did however confirm that the patient’s records reveal preliminary facts that are contrary to allegations regarding how she was managed.

Mafunda said the mother was entitled to an explanation from the department, and urged her, once she is ready, to lodge a formal complaint with the department.

She said this will assist the department to further scrutinise each and every detail of the complaint.

Mafunda encouraged anyone who might have grievances to approach hospital management, through the office of the public relations officer.


Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  kzn health department
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