Joburg family describes last moments of son's life, blames top surgeon for death - report

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Johannesburg parents have described the shocking moments before their son died after being operated on by top SA paediatric surgeon Dr Peter Beale, who is currently under investigation for the boy's death, a report has said.

The Sayed family have vilified the procedures that led to the traumatic death of their 10-year-old son Zayyan who died under the watch of anaesthetist Dr Abdulhay Munshi, 56, and Beale, 73, who practices at Netcare Park Lane Clinic, the Sunday Times reported.

Both doctors have since been suspended from duty.

Father Mohammadh Sayed described how he was left to assist Munshi after his son got into difficulty shortly after the surgery on Friday, October 11.

He said the operation was meant to last an hour and a half but took nearly four hours. Sayed said that after the surgery, Beale described the operation as a success.

However, shortly after Munshi said he thought Zayyaan had a collapsed lung, but still let Beale leave. Not long after, Munshi rushed Sayed into the recovery area where his disorientated son was kicking and moaning with half-opened eyes.

The father was apparently told to hold his son's legs while Munshi unsuccessfully tried to get a tube into his chest. Mohammadh said it was unacceptable that a parent was asked to assist a doctor in the resuscitation of his child, and wanted justice.

Beale arrived back at the hospital after 20:30 when Zayyan was in ICU where he died after 22:00 after his heart stopped.

The Sunday Times said it learnt that prior to his suspension, Beale was under a Netcare peer review after previous complaints were made against him; fined R80 000 by the HPCSA in 2018 for, among other things, gross negligence; and was suspended by Mediclinic in November 2016.

Beale told the Sunday Times that his suspension was a kneejerk reaction and that while the incident was tragic, it was not his fault.

He said he had been given the all clear to leave following the operation, and believed the operation to be a success.

He also said the standards of South African hospital staff was questionable.

He wouldn't comment on the 2018 fine, the other review, and described his Mediclinic suspension as "ridiculous".

News24 this week reported that Dr Anchen Laubscher, Netcare's Group Medical Director, said Beale had been suspended pending an internal investigation into the circumstances surrounding the boy's death.

Earlier this year another child passed away after a routine surgery by Beale.

Of his suspension, Laubscher said: "A peer review of all relevant information relating to the incident has been initiated, and a committee will determine sanctions as deemed appropriate, based on clinical and ethical guidelines.

"Once this process has concluded, it will be determined whether a report on the matter will be provided to the Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA)," Laubscher told News24.

- Compiled by Kaveel Singh

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