Hospital blunder to be probed

Alfred Moselakgomo

Alfred Moselakgomo

The Mpumalanga health department has instituted an urgent inquiry into how a patient was given the wrong type of blood, which resulted in him having to be admitted to the intensive care unit of one of the province's biggest hospitals.

The patient, known only as N Donaldson, was first admitted to Nelspruit's Rob Ferreira Hospital for a fractured leg and severe blood loss after a motorcycle accident.

During a blood transfusion, his body reacted negatively to the blood he was given.

Health authorities yesterday said they were baffled by this unfortunate mistake and promised to leave no stone unturned in their investigations.

Mpho Gabashane, the health department's spokesman, said the inquiry would determine what action should be taken against the nurse who had performed the transfusion.

He said: "The nurse is still on duty and the decision to be taken against her, if one needs to be, will only be taken after this internal inquiry."

The DA in Mpumalanga said ongoing incidents of negligence at state hospitals in Mpumalanga were unacceptable.

"The government is gambling with the lives of people by not appointing enough competent staff," said the party's spokesman, Anthony Bernadie.

He said it now remained to be seen how the inquiry would be handled and what steps would be taken if negligence was uncovered.

"We believe that if found guilty the punishment should be nothing short of dismissal," Bernadie said.

Meanwhile, the affected patient's condition is said to have since stabilised.