Amputation put on hold

Kingdom Mabuza

Kingdom Mabuza

Baby Nosipho Vilakazi has escaped having her leg chopped off - thanks to Sowetan.

She is luckier than another child, Khensane Ngobeni, 11 months, who had four fingers amputated at the Mapulaneng Hospital because nurses were negligent, Sowetan reported this week.

Both incidences - where nurses forgot to loosen bands used to secure drips to their little bodies - occurred in Mpumalanga hospitals.

Exactly a month ago today Baby Nosipho Vilakazi was born prematurely at the Witbank Hospital.

Her mother, Pretty Vilakazi, told Sowetan that nurses had informed her that her premature baby would be kept in an incubator until she weighed at least 1,8kg.

This meant that a drip had to be strapped to her leg.

Sadly, the nurse who inserted the drip allegedly forgot to remove a band that was tied to Baby Nosipho's right thigh.

"When I went to feed her the next morning I noticed that her leg was swollen. I then alerted the nurse on duty and asked her to remove it. By now her entire leg was swollen.

"The nurse tried to massage it but to no avail. When the nurse who had inserted the drip arrived in the evening, she saw this and came to me to apologise," Vilakazi said.

But the apology did not help.

Baby Nosipho's leg turned yellowish and Vilakazi was told that the child would have to be operated on."I was told that there was no other option but to amputate her leg. I protested and demanded that I be given time to consult my family and the child's father." She was told that she had until Monday to do so because the operation would be performed on Tuesday this week."I am devastated. "And I do not get answers that would possibly make sense to her - when she is grown up - as to why she does not have a leg," said Vilakazi. On Monday Sowetan went to see the mother and speak to the hospital authorities. A senior manager refused to comment and referred Sowetan to the department. The department contacted the hospital and asked for a full report.They also asked the hospital to postpone the operation until further notice.Yesterday Vilakazi said: "They told me they would drain blood from the leg and observe it before they could make up their minds about what to do."Department spokesman Mpho Gabashane confirmed that the amputation had been put on hold pending a detailed report."We want to know the condition of the child and what led to it and whether there are no other medical ways to be explored besides the amputation," Gabashane said.yellowish and Vilakazi was told that the child would have to be operated on.

"I was told that there was no other option but to amputate her leg. I protested and demanded that I be given time to consult my family and the child's father."

She was told that she had until Monday to do so because the operation would be performed on Tuesday this week.

"I am devastated.

"And I do not get answers that would possibly make sense to her - when she is grown up - as to why she does not have a leg," said Vilakazi.

On Monday Sowetan went to see the mother and speak to the hospital authorities.

A senior manager refused to comment and referred Sowetan to the department.

The department contacted the hospital and asked for a full report .

They also asked the hospital to postpone the operation until further notice.

Yesterday Vilakazi said: "They told me they would drain blood from the leg and observe it before they could make up their minds about what to do."

Department spokesman Mpho Gabashane confirmed that the amputation had been put on hold pending a detailed report.

"We want to know the condition of the child and what led to it and whether there are no other medical ways to be explored besides the amputation," Gabashane said.

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