Saturday, 26 February 2022

MY CHILD WAS NEGLECTED AT PARI : GRIEVING MOTHER

 


THE mother of a four-year-old girl who died from severe burns while admitted at Parirenyatwa Group of Hospitals in Harare has alleged that staff at the health institution neglected attending to her child, possibly causing her death a few days later.

Dephine Gwerevende sustained burns to 17 percent of her body on Monday last week after accidentally tipping a pot of boiling water from a stove before slipping and rolling in the water.

The toddler, who was an ECD A pupil at Little Rider preschool in Tynwald suburb, sustained severe burns on her back, arms and right leg.

She was immediately rushed to Parirenyatwa Hospital where nursing staff administered intravenous fluids (drip) and admitted her into the resuscitation room.

The mother of the child, Mrs Catherine Charumbira, alleges that thereafter, nursing staff at the hospital completely ignored Dephine who succumbed to her injuries on Friday morning.

Parirenyatwa Hospital, however, disputes the allegations.

In an interview yesterday, Mrs Charumbira said her daughter was only admitted for care and treatment into the paediatric ward following the intervention of a senior Government official.

The distraught mother said she believed her daughter could have survived had she received urgent attention.

“After the incident, I immediately poured cold water on the burns,” she said.

“We did not waste time at all. We arrived at Parirenyatwa around 12 noon on Monday and she was put on a drip in the resuscitation room. However, she was not given any pain killers and I watched her writhe in agony.

“Nurses kept telling us they were looking for specialist doctors who deal with burns from the time we arrived.”

Mrs Charumbira claimed that, at one point, one of the nurses told her to go to a private hospital.

“She was screaming in pain and it broke my heart to watch her in so much pain and as a mother, I could not do anything.

“Whenever I tried to raise an issue with the nurses, I was brushed aside.

She said nursing staff only started attending to the child after they had made the call to a senior Government official.

“A few minutes after calling him, her wounds were scrubbed and treated.

“She was then given a bed in the paediatric ward.”

Dephine’s condition, however, continued to deteriorate in the coming days.

On Friday, doctors undertook a procedure to drain bloody phlegm from around her chest area, which indicated that she may have suffered internal bleeding.

She was to pass on the same day around mid-morning.

Dephine will be buried today in Masvingo.

Parirenyatwa Hospital spokesperson Mr Linos Dhire said a post-mortem and further investigations will help determine the cause of death.

“Indeed, the child was presented at Parirenyatwa Group of Hospitals as an emergency with burns on her back and the right leg,” he said.

“She was taken straight to the resuscitation room where all critical emergencies are attended to.

“A resuscitation room is an emergency Intensive Care Unit (ICU) and is not a waiting room, so she was not neglected.

“That is the room where she received drip (intravenous fluids) and some pain killers.

“A casualty doctor immediately examined the child to determine the extent of the injury and prescribed appropriate medication, which was given.

“The same doctor referred the child to general surgeons for take-over.

“General surgeons attended to the child on the same day and after further examinations referred the child to plastic surgeons.”

The plastic surgeon on call, said Mr Dhire, attended to the child on the same day and ordered admission to the ward.

“The child remained under close supervision in the resuscitation room when all the above doctors attended to her until she was taken to ward B8 (Burns Unit) at 12 am.

“So she was moved to the wards after doctors were satisfied that she had stabilised.

“As such, the child was not neglected but the extent and nature of the injuries may have predisposed her to complications.

“We have notes detailing the whole process. However, a post mortem will be done to determine the exact cause of death.”

The senior Governmentt official said he was aware of the incident, but declined to comment further. Sunday Mail

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