Family seeks answers after daughter's death
"WHAT killed my daughter?" That is all a father whose 16-year-old daughter died after giving birth at a Johannesburg hospital wants to know.
Instead, the family of Nobuhle Bottomane, of Alexandra in Johannesburg, who died at Edenvale Hospital, claim that the hospital has given them different versions of what happened to their daughter.
Bottomane, who is originally from King William's Town in Eastern Cape, gave birth to a baby boy on August 23 by Caesarean section. She died on September 5.
Her father Marko Moyo said: "One doctor said the epidural injection they gave her went to her head, instead of going to the waist. Another doctor said she bled excessively while giving birth. The matron said she died of cardiac arrest."
Moyo said that after their daughter's death they demanded a medical report from the hospital's matron, who refused to provide it.
The family said Bottomane fell ill after giving birth at Edenvale Hospital and she was then taken to the intensive care unit. She was later transferred to Charlotte Maxeke Hospital. After 14 days, she was sent back to Edenvale, where she died on the same day.
Edenvale's chief executive officer Dr Norman Kernes said Bottomane died of cardiac arrest - a cessation of normal circulation of the blood due to failure of the heart to contract effectively.
Kernes denied that the family was given many versions regarding Nobuhle's death.
"As a result of the clinical sequela (a complication of a disease) of the cardiac arrest - Bottomane was treated at Charlotte Maxeke Hospital. There was no excessive bleeding," he said.
However, he admitted that a spinal anaesthetic (epidural injection) was administered while she was in the theatre before birth.
Kernes said they did not do a postmortem because they had suspected no foul play. He also denied that the matron had refused to allow the family to perform a postmortem.
A medical report provided by Charlotte Maxeke Hospital to the family has confirmed that the 16-year-old was transferred to the hospital because of cardiac arrest.
The report said: "The patient underwent two cycles of emergency procedures that were performed to manually preserve intact brain function until further measures are taken to restore spontaneous blood circulation and breathing in a person.
"Upon arrival, the patient also had multiple generalised seizures which were uncontrolled by medication.
"The patient's Glasgow Coma Scale (a scale that assesses the severity of a brain injury) remained persistently decreased and a surgical procedure was performed."
Gauteng health spokesman Simon Zwane said a postmortem was not usually conducted on a patient whose medical history was well-documented. - firstname.lastname@example.org