MEC Mahlangu receives preliminary report on baby Thembisa
10 Dec 2009
The team set up to investigate the circumstances that led the amputation of the legs of Thembisa Nikelo has today submitted a preliminary report to the Gauteng MEC for Health and Social Development Qedani Mahlangu.
The report submitted by Prof Joe Veriava, on behalf of his six member investigation team, has found that the amputation was not avoidable. It also dismisses allegations that the child developed gangrene on both her legs because of intravenous drips inserted on her feet.
Nikelo was admitted to Far East Rand hospital with burn wounds on her hands and face in September this year. She later developed gangrene on both her legs which led to the amputation.
The investigation team expressed concern about the standard of care the child received at the Far East Rand hospital.
“Our primary concern relates to a failure by doctors to recognise the severity of the child’s clinical condition, the degree of senior supervision, oversight and involvement.
“Furthermore there was inadequate communication and interaction between the surgeons and the paediatricians relating to the management of this child. There was also no consideration given to treat Thembisa in a high care or an intensive care unit with paediatricians playing a major role in her management,” the report said.
The team also found that the child should have been transferred to Charlotte Maxeke Hospital much earlier.
“When Thembisa arrived at this hospital (Charlotte Maxeke) gangrene of both legs below the knee was well established and amputation was unavoidable,” the report said.
It was however found that “the gangrene was definitely not due to the insertion of intravenous line into a vein in the foot”.
The team said it could not find any problem in the care that the child received at Charlotte Maxeke hospital.
The MEC has thanked the team for conducting their investigation and submitting their report within the limited seven day period allocated to them. A more in-depth investigation will now be conducted and the team will have to report in January.
For enquiries contact:
Cell: 082 551 9892
Tel: 011 355 3828
Issued by: Department of Health and Social Development, Gauteng Provincial Government
10 December 2009
Issued by: Gauteng Health
10 Dec 2009
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