'The hospital lost my kidney after op'

By admin
05 November 2015

A Durban cancer patient has endured a mix of emotions after the private hospital treating him lost his kidney.

During his post-operation consultation 56-year-old Derrick Rodgers was told by a Netcare St Augustine’s Hospital urologist that his cancerous kidney did not "reach the labs".

'The infected kidney was vital in finding a way to treat me going forward'

The hospital has since said that Rodgers's kidney was "mistakenly discarded following a surgical procedure". It has taken action against certain staff members as a result.

Speaking to News24 at his home on Wednesday, Rodgers lamented the way he was treated by the hospital throughout the ordeal, calling their behaviour "cold and callous".

"I was just diagnosed with cancer in September and was at this hospital for nine days in October. The infected kidney was vital in finding a way to treat me going forward. It would have told us to what extent the cancer has spread. My entire family and I have been experiencing so many painful emotions."

The businessman and father of two said he was put off for days at a time by a number of doctors and hospital staff when he initially queried about a way forward for his treatment.

He said that before he was discharged, he requested a copy of the laboratory results but even then he was told he would be fine.

"They just kept telling me not to worry and that I must heal and my results would come through. How could I not worry? I just had a kidney removed and was diagnosed with cancer, yet no one communicated anything to me.

"I trusted this hospital and they betrayed that trust... My surgery was meant to be just over two hours but it ended up being five."

Sample mistakenly discarded

Rodgers said hospital management had yet to contact him to give him answers.

"We queried at every level at the hospital. It wasn't until I engaged my attorney that any form of communication come. They have not comforted us. There is no empathy from them. They merely acknowledge communication."

Responding to a written query, hospital general manager, Dr Augusta Dorning, said that, "conclusive action is being taken against certain staff members after a histology sample was mistakenly discarded following a surgical procedure".

She said the hospital was, "immensely distressed about what transpired in the case concerning this patient and remain deeply concerned that our strict and very clear policies and protocols regarding histology samples were not adhered to."

Dorning said it was "unacceptable" that a patient had been subjected to this and said the hospital would aim to "ease the situation for the patient".

"We would like to place on record that an incident such as this has never happened at our hospital before. Preservation of histology samples is a basic principle in nurse training.

"We are in the process of taking conclusive action against those staff members who have put one of our patients in this predicament. Needless to say, we are determined that a situation such as this should never be repeated."


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