Disciplinary for toddler's amputation

Disciplinary action will be taken against doctors who amputated a toddler's gangrenous legs after she was treated for burns to her hands at the Far East Rand hospital, the DA said on Monday. 

"Some clinical management protocols were not adhered to during the initial treatment," Gauteng Health MEC Qedani Mahlangu said in a written reply to a DA question, according to the party's health spokesman Jack Bloom. 

Her department undertook investigations soon after the September 15 amputation of Thembisa Nikelo's legs. Thembisa was sent to Far East Rand hospital after she accidentally plunged both her hands into a bath filled with boiling water. 

At the time, her mother complained of poor treatment at the hospital and little being done to treat the diarrhoea her daughter had developed, or to treat her burns. 

She believed that following the administering of intravenous drips, her daughter's legs turned purple. She was moved to Charlotte Maxeke hospital. There she was told Thembisa's legs had to be amputated or she would die. Both legs were removed below the knee on October 9. 

DA is sceptical

According to Mahlangu, Thembisa was currently receiving occupational therapy in preparation for receiving prostheses. She said her department was working on strengthening the surgery  and paediatrics wards at the Far East Rand Hospital, and improving protocols for early referrals of child patients to tertiary hospitals. 

However Bloom said he was sceptical that appropriate measures were being taken on this case because there'd been "too much secrecy". 

"The department needs to release the final report so that we can judge for ourselves whether enough is being done to ensure that there is no similar case in future." - (Sapa, May 2010)

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