Patients ‘not protected’ as man causes havoc at local hospital

2018-11-23 15:14

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Security at a local private hospital has been called into question by patients who reported that an aggressive male patient was left to run amok in a medical ward last week.

The incident happened last Thursday.

One of the affected patients, who asked not to be named, said she was admitted to hospital last Tuesday and “everything was fine until Thursday”.

The woman said she was in her room that evening when a man ran in and tried to grab her phone. “He then ran out of the room without any pants on and started going into different rooms.”

The woman said the man caused “havoc” and even assaulted a nurse.

“He was just left running around, grabbing people and scaring other patients. Some of them were really vulnerable.”

The woman said police were called as well as the matron, but no case was opened. She said the patient was sedated and allegedly moved to a private room and handcuffed to a bed on Friday morning.

The woman said she was not offered counselling after the incident and questioned why patients were “not protected”.

Another patient, who also asked that her identity not be published, said the man had been walking in and out of rooms for most of Thursday. “I was in bed and the nurses had to push him away and tell him to leave. I was quite nervous because I was on drips and if the man came back, I would not be able to run anywhere.

“That night, I went to the toilet and as I left the bathroom, I saw the patient hit a nurse in the face. She fell to the ground and started screaming. I was so scared I ripped out all my drips and just ran.”

The woman said the hospital had apologised to patients for the incident but said no one was to blame.

“The guards are quick to chase visitors out of your room but where were they when that man was running around?” the patient asked.

Netcare St Anne’s general manager Louis Joubert told The Witness the man concerned had not been admitted for psychiatric care and there was no indication before the incident that the patient would be aggressive.

“We have reviewed the circumstances surrounding this incident and believe that it was appropriately handled by the hospital staff and security team who were called in promptly to assist when the patient became aggressive.

“Immediately after the incident and the next morning different members of our nursing management team visited each patient in the ward individually to discuss the incident and apologise for the patient’s behaviour.

“We again apologise sincerely for the distress this incident may have caused other patients in the ward and our staff members.”

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg

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