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A trainee nurse is under investigation after she allegedly squashed a newborn baby's head while assisting a mother to give birth.
Allegedly the baby's head was stuck when the nurse tried to assist the mother by pulling the baby out. The baby weighed 4,2kg.
"She pressed the baby's head so hard that she squashed her tiny skull," the distraught mother, Brenda Sithole, said.
She said she told nurses at the Rob Ferreira Hospital in Nelspruit that her baby was too big to be born naturally but they would not listen.
"They said where my child got in was where he was going to come out," she said.
At the time of the incident, Sithole said, the nurse worked without help from her colleagues because the doctors were busy with other patients.
"Other nurses who saw the incident tried to cover it up by wrapping the baby in a towel and telling the parents it was stillborn," Sithole said.
She said at the insistence of her family the baby was given to them.
On opening the towel it was discovered that the baby's skull had been crushed.
"We believe that the Health Department as a whole is in crisis because of staff shortages and it is costing the lives of the people," DA spokesman on health Anthony Bernadie said.
He said this was another incident that has highlighted the inability of the department to attract and retain skilled staff.