Heartless nurses allegedly forced a woman in labour to walk unaided to a delivery room and one of her twin babies fell out of her and died.
In a flood of tears, 25-year-old Lucky Moepya told The Citizen: “I just want to know why the nurses refused to help me when I needed to be helped.”
Moepya said she went to the Philadelphia Hospital in Moutse in the Sekhukhune region of Limpopo on October 6 last year after she went into labour.
“When I arrived at the hospital, I found two nurses who told me to lie down on the bed to check the heartbeat in my womb. The male nurse who was checking me told me there were two strong heartbeats,” she said.
She was told she was a long way from delivery and to lie down on a bench. She was left there alone.
“But the labour pains got worse and I could feel the baby coming. A nurse came and told me to walk to the delivery room. But I had just taken three steps when I realised the head of the baby was already at the exit. I cried for help but my pleas fell on deaf ears as the nurse proceeded to say I must walk on my own,” she said.
“But the baby fell on the ground as I was trying to walk and died after the nurse cut the umbilical cord. While I was crying hysterically on the ground feeling sorry for my baby, the nurse told me the baby was not breathing. She later told me the baby could not make it,” she said.
“A few minutes later, I went to the labour room with the help of the nurse and gave birth naturally to the other baby.”
Moepya also claimed she had seen a document in the hospital which stated that she should have had a caesarean section. Moepya said she reported the matter to the hospital and to the provincial health department which conducted forensic investigations into the matter.
“This is not a war. All I need are answers,” she said.
“I also want to know why they turned a deaf ear when I told them the baby was coming and near. I want to know why they kept the findings of their investigations until May when they were completed in February. Lastly I want to know how they plan to help bring my baby back to life,” she asked.
Contacted for comment, departmental spokesperson Neil Shikwambane said: “The cause of the death of the baby was not as a result of the negligence since our findings showed that it was an intrauterine death, which occurred some time ago, as evident by a macerated foetus.”
Shikwambane said the department held the report in an effort to exhaust all processes and said the hospital chief executive had been interacting with the patient. The nurses had appeared before a disciplinary hearing to produce their duty records since they denied claims that they refused to help the mother.
Moepya is now pursuing the matter through legal channels and wants the department to pay for her loss.