'HOSPITAL error killed MY BABY'

Riot Hlatswayo

Riot Hlatswayo

An Mpumalanga woman is accusing the privately owned Nelspruit Medi-Clinic of killing her newborn baby.

The mother, Fortunate Mgwena-Ngobeni, 30, claims that a hospital manager told her that baby formula had been given to the baby through an intravenous drip and an antibiotic had been fed to the baby orally instead.

She said she was told of the "mistake" a day before the child died on February 4.

Mgwena-Ngobeni is employed as a senior administration support official at Eskom.

She said her child was put into an incubator shortly after birth and kept in the neo-natal intensive care unit.

She was discharged to recuperate at home in Thulamahashe after the baby was delivered by Caesarean section.

Mgwena-Ngobeni said when she went to visit her baby last Monday the hospital manager, Willie Kruger, called her into an office and told her about their mistake.

"He told me that the nurses had made a "serious mistake".

"He said the nurses had inserted a pre-nan drip, a drip that supplies milk to the child's stomach, into the child's veins when they were supposed to use the total parenteral nutrition (TPN) drip.

"This resulted in the child's blood being mixed with baby milk," said Mgwena-Ngobeni.

Kruger explained to her that the pre-nan drip should have been given orally while the TPN drip was supposed to have been administered through the veins.

The manager allegedly told her that the child was at risk because of possible complications.

The child died the following day and was buried without a death certificate last Friday because, according to Mgwena-Ngobeni, the hospital refused to supply her with the necessary documents regarding the baby's death.

The Medi-Clinic said that because of patient privacy and confidentiality, it was not at liberty to discuss the details of treatment with Sowetan but that the matter had been discussed with the child's mother.

"It is extremely important to us that patients, or their parents in the case of a minor, be made aware of any untoward events that have taken place in the course of their hospitalisation," said Nelspruit Medi-Clinic spokesman, Robyn Baard, yesterday.

"Although this is an isolated event, the hospital views the matter in a very serious light and is undertaking a thorough investigation.

"At this stage the cause of death of the premature baby is still unknown.

"We commiserate with the family," said Baard.

She said the child was born prematurely on February 1, seven months after she was conceived.

She said that the doctors had told the mother the premature birth was as a result of her unstable blood pressure.

"The doctors proposed that I be sterilised because my condition would put my life at risk if I bore another child in the future.

"I was told my blood pressure was uncontrollable and I agreed," said Mgwena-Ngobeni yesterday.