Mom wants answers from Sheppie hospital

Port Shepstone Regional Hospital.

A HORRIFIC incident that allegedly stripped a mother of her bundle of joy and her dignity has sent shock waves through human rights activists.

Noxolo Mqadi (34) is alleged to have partially given birth on her own at Port Shepstone Regional Hospital’s waiting room in full view of other patients, waiting to be transferred to the hospital’s maternity ward earlier this year.

After five months of waiting for answers from the hospital’s management, Miss Mqadi, who feels humiliated and robbed of her ‘womanhood’, wants to know why she was left to suffer while in the care of nurses and doctors.

Sent home

Miss Mqadi arrived at the hospital at about 6.40am after having experienced labour pains. A few hours later, she was examined and told she was only one centimetre dilated.

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That afternoon, doctors told her she was then 2cm dilated and sent her home saying she should return to the hospital when labour pains were much more severe. For fear of having transport problems, Miss Mqadi opted to remain at the hospital.

“I kept asking for help. Eventually, a male nurse on duty at the time, realised traces of baby faeces were left on his glove while he was examining how far I was dilated and that’s when he promised to call a doctor to assist.”

Miss Mqadi says the male nurse’s shift was about to end. However, he made sure he gave strict instructions regarding her condition to a female nurse who took over. The female nurse did not pay much attention to her.

“I was forced to partially give birth on my own before being assisted by nurses as half my child’s body was already out. I was naked in front of other patients. I saw my child cry but I could sense that it was a cry for help.”

Unfortunately for Miss Mqadi, her bundle of joy did not make it.

Lack of Information

“I was not informed by nurses my baby had gulped faeces and was on life support, until the following day when I decided to try and find the nursery myself. I saw my child lying there helplessly.”

The Herald has a copy of a letter from the health department, signed by the hospital’s chief executive officer and its public relations officer, apologising to Miss Mqadi over the incident. However, the hospital denies that negligence led to the death of her baby.

In the damning letter the hospital confirms:

* Miss Mqadi was sent home but opted to stay at the hospital.

* That at some point her baby showed signs of being tired, after the nurse realised there were traces of faeces on his glove.

* That the CTG used on her was supposed to be checked after an hour but was never checked because she had started giving birth on her own.

* That the infant had faeces on its body

* That she gave birth in a waiting room because the delivery was not expected (despite the fact that she arrived at the hospital at 6.45am).

* That nurses took a long time to inform her about the nursery and that there was a shortage of staff.

“I can’t sleep at night. I want answers. I want the nurse who laughed at me when I told her I was in pain to tell me why? I want to know why I was humiliated at a place I’m supposed to be protected. Maybe I will find peace.”

Spokesman for KZN Department of Health, Sam Mkhwanazi, said: “The demise of any individual is a painful experience. Without prejudice, the department would like to pass its condolences to the family.

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Regarding the management of a patient, hospital management has held meetings with the patient concerned and such engagement will continue to clarify issues.”

The spokesman refused to answer clinical questions raised by the Herald. “Regarding the clinical issues raised by the newspaper, the department is not at liberty to discuss this with a third party, including the media, as this would be in violation of the law.”


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Zimasa Mgwili

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