Doctors in a mess over amputation on toddler

DISCIPLINARY action will be taken against doctors who amputated a toddler's gangrenous legs after she was treated for burns to her hands at Far East Rand Hospital, the DA said yesterday.

DISCIPLINARY action will be taken against doctors who amputated a toddler's gangrenous legs after she was treated for burns to her hands at Far East Rand Hospital, the DA said yesterday.

"Some clinical management protocols were not adhered to," Gauteng MEC for health Qedani Mahlangu said in a written reply to a DA question, according to the party's health spokesperson Jack Bloom.

Mahlangu's department undertook investigations soon after the September 15 amputation of Thembisa Nikelo's legs.

Thembisa was sent to Far East Rand Hospital after she accidentally plunged both her hands into a bath filled with boiling water.

At the time, her mother complained of poor treatment at the hospital and little being done to treat the diarrhoea her daughter had developed, or to treat her burns.

She believed that following the administering of intravenous drips, her daughter's legs turned purple. She was moved to Charlotte Maxeke Hospital. There she was told Thembisa's legs had to be amputated or she would die. Both legs were removed below the knee on October 9.

Mahlangu said Thembisa was currently receiving occupational therapy in preparation for receiving prostheses.

She said her department was working on strengthening the surgery and paediatrics wards at Far East Rand Hospital, and improving protocols for early referrals of child patients to tertiary hospitals.

However, Bloom said he was sceptical that appropriate measures were being taken on the case. - Sapa

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