Mpumalanga Mother Wants Answers After Infant’s Hand Wrongfully Amputated

The three-week-old was admitted to Bernice Samuel Hospital in Delmas for diarrhoea but had to be transferred to Witbank Hospital due to complications.

Mpumalanga Mother Wants Answers After Infant’s Hand Wrongfully Amputated-SurgeZirc SA
Infant’s Feet/Photo File: Photo 11451561 © Lian DengDreamstime.com

A Mpumalanga mother is fuming and demands answers from the provincial government, after her infant daughter who’d been admitted to hospital for diarrhoea, ended up having her hand wrongfully amputated.

The three-week-old was admitted to Bernice Samuel Hospital in Delmas for diarrhoea but had to be transferred to Witbank Hospital due to complications. Hospital staff are alleged to have then incorrectly inserted a drip into the baby’s arm – apparently causing irreparable damage.

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Mbali Sweleni said her baby’s hand started turning blue and was amputated just days later. Speaking to the SABC, Sweleni said they then decided to transfer the infant to the Steve Biko Hospital in Pretoria, however, they were told there were no beds at the facility. It was then resolved that the child would have her hand amputated, which happened days later.

Sweleni said hospital staff advised that her child’s hand be removed because the “infection” would spread to the entire body. Mpumalanga’s premier Refilwe Mtshweni-Tsipane has spoken out, in the wake of the “wrongful” amputation and vowed to take the medical staff to task.

According to Mtshweni-Tsipane, a case of negligence is currently being investigated. She said as the Mpumalanga government, they have to admit where they have done wrong. The premier also announced that those involved in the matter have been suspended.

“We have taken a decision that those that were involved in treating the child for diarrhoea and ultimately that diarrhoea has led to a 3-weeks-old losing her arm, they must be suspended with immediate effect,” she said.

Mtshweni-Tsipane said they had apologised to the infant’s family – but that will do little to ease Sweleni, who’s expressed heartache over the incident. “I saw the mother of that girl, she’s a young girl and now we’ve robbed her the arm of her daughter and it’s a right hand so you can imagine we are disadvantaging the future of that child,” the premier said.
Mtshweni-Tsipane further touched on the degree of negligence in the hospital, which led to the incident. “The pointers are already indicative that there is some sort of negligence that has occurred in the hospital and we are saying if we don’t condemn that as government nobody else will do that,” she said.

“Such incidents more and more, it’s becoming so glaring that are deliberately or man-made due to an official not taking care in a manner they are supposed to do”

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