Nurses’ arrogance results in newborn baby losing leg; infant was left unattended for 11 days

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HARARE – A newborn baby, (name supplied) had to have her leg amputated at Parirenyatwa hospital after nurses ignored her wailing for 11 days, only to realise her leg had rotten despite having been pestered to assist by the mother. The mother, Tiny Masvaure was labeled “a troublesome parent” after continuously raising her baby’s condition with the nurses she is now suing. She has taken the matter to court, seeking recourse for the unfortunate incident a year since it occurred.

Masvaure engaged human rights lawyers who have since written to the hospital demanding hospital records of the baby.

Her lawyer Paida Saurombe also said they intend to sue the top referral hospital.

“We have instructions to demand as we hereby do that you provide us within seven days of receipt of this letter, all hospital records regarding the victim, all minutes on the investigations conducted on how she came to be amputated, a prosthetic leg for her and a comprehensive compensation plan for past and future medical expenses,” Saurombe said in a letter to hospital authorities.

The baby was born on December 23, 2020 at Mbuya Nehanda maternity hospital which is under Parirenyatwa Group of Hospitals.

Masvaure was asthmatic and as such had breathing difficulties which caused her to give birth to a preterm at 34 weeks.

Saurombe said Masvaure inquired if there were any complications with the baby besides her being slightly underweight and she was advised that her baby was healthy.

The hospital staff said all the baby needed was to gain more weight from her birth weight of 1,535 kgs before she could be discharged.

She was also told that her baby would be placed on antibiotics to prevent infections.

According to the letter, Masvaure asked if her baby had any infections warranting antibiotic treatment but she was told that it was precautionary considering she was a preterm baby.

A cannula was then put on the child’s hand and after two days the hand started swelling.

Masvaure alerted the nurses who initially ignored her and when they decided to attend to the baby, it had gone so bad the cannula had to be removed and put on her leg on January 8.

Again, after some hours, the leg started swelling.

She told the nurses who complained that she was a “troublesome parent”.

The nurses also allegedly told her that the swelling was normal.

Saurombe said the swelling worsened until the baby’s leg changed its colour and became cold.

“Our client did not relent on alerting the hospital staff who ignored her. This was despite the baby crying continuously and appearing very uncomfortable. This unfortunate neglect and abuse of the baby despite the protestations of the mother led to the child’s leg being amputated on January 19, 2021 because according to hospital sources the leg had rotten. The mother and the baby ended up staying three months in an isolated ward,” Saurombe wrote.

According to the lawyer, the hospital made verbal admissions to Masvaure that negligence by its staff had caused her baby’s leg to rot and be amputated.

There were also overtures made to Masvaure to remedy her daughter’s unfortunate situation.

No record has been provided despite the mother’s consistent demands instead she keeps receiving notifications of outstanding debt for her daughter’s treatment.

The toddler is now over a year and learning to stand and walk.

Saurombe said without another leg, she risks falling down and sustaining more serious injuries.

Parirenyatwa hospital is said to have promised a prosthetic leg when the child was nine months old but no action has been taken to date.

According to the lawyer, upon further medical advice, they were told that the procedure was wrongfully done such that the little girl will need constant corrective surgeries as she grows up.

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