Doctor declares miscarriage without examination

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A woman whose baby died while she was giving birth two weeks ago in the Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital is seeking legal advice, the Sowetan reported today.

Nombukiso Masangwana, 25, claimed her premature baby of six months suffocated on February 15 during a breech birth [when a baby comes out feet or buttocks first].

She went to the hospital, in Soweto, Johannesburg, when her water broke. She claimed a doctor told her she miscarried without examining her, and referred her to another ward where the foetus would be removed.

Heart still beating

When walking to another ward, a nurse approached Masangwana and examined her with a sonar machine which confirmed that the baby's heart was still beating.

She was taken to theatre but there were no doctors there.

Nurses who were there left to fetch the sonar machine and during this time, the baby's feet came out first. Another nurse came to assist her.

Masangwana claimed the other nurses returned after 30 minutes and declared the baby girl dead.

Health department spokesman Simon Zwane said hospital staff treated her and the baby to the best of their ability.

However, it would investigate why the doctor declared an unborn baby dead without examining her.

Read more:

Woman gives birth without help at hospital, and sues

Brain-dead woman dies soon after giving birth

Difficult conception risky for mom, baby

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