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Baby delivered in parts - family speaks

Sabelo Khumalo whose baby was delivered in three parts at Tambo Memorial Hospital.
Sabelo Khumalo whose baby was delivered in three parts at Tambo Memorial Hospital.

The Kgatla family from Ramaphosa informal settlement in Boksburg, Ekurhuleni, has blamed the Tambo Memorial Hospital for negligence after their 19-year-old daughter's baby was delivered in three different parts about two weeks ago.

Kagiso Kgatla's baby was delivered head first with other parts (torso and legs) following separately, taking medical staff nearly 24 hours to remove other remains in the womb.

When approached for comment yesterday at her house, Kagiso was still too traumatised to speak about the ordeal. Her uncle Modibe Kgatla, said they were left with nowhere to turn to after police refused to open a case as they didn't have documents from the hospital.

"We were given a runaround for the past two weeks by the hospital management and staff who refused to sign documents for the police to open a case for us," Kgatla said.

He said he found his niece in a pool of blood on the floor of a private room of the hospital.

"She was crying, looking very weak and she couldn't even speak with the baby's remains inside her," Kgatla told Sowetan yesterday.

He said the staff delayed taking his niece to theatre and only did so after they had reported the matter to the hospital management.

"The staff claimed that they had too many patients booked for theatre and so there was no space for my niece.

"During a meeting with the staff and hospital manager, the doctor who attended to my niece was rude to me and told me to leave the room," Kgatla said.

The staff said they used steel forceps to try and pull the baby out to assist with the birth and that's how the baby's head was cut off from the body leaving the rest of the body parts inside, he said.

I fail to understand why an emergency C-section was not performed

The baby's father, Sabelo Khumalo, 23, told Sowetan his dream of becoming a first-time father was shuttered that day.

"When I saw my baby in pieces I couldn't believe my eyes because I had so much expectations. I had bought clothes in excitement," Khumalo said.

It would have also been Kgatla's niece's first child.

Kgatla said the family said her niece was told before birth that the baby had some abnormalities, but she was ready to raise the child regardless.

"I fail to understand why an emergency C-section was not performed. Instead, they pushed for a normal birth," said the uncle.

The Gauteng health department dispatched the provincial patients' safety team to the hospital to investigate the matter thoroughly and obtain facts from the medical team who were involved in this incident.

In a statement yesterday, the department said it noted with concern the reports about the macerated fetus at the hospital.

"Upon completion of the investigation, the department will communicate the outcomes and the recommendations. If necessary, disciplinary measures will be instituted," it said. "The hospital continues to offer counselling support to the patient and her family to help them deal with this unfortunate incident."

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