News / South Africa / Local News

Sheina Razack
4 minute read
9 May 2018
10:57 am

Benoni baby’s death hospital’s fault, say parents

Sheina Razack

The family is seeking legal assistance to help shed light on the incident.

A baby died at Life The Glynnwood recently.

“I hold them responsible” were the words of grieving parent Hannes Roets, whose infant son recently died at Life The Glynnwood Hospital in Benoni, reports Benoni City Times.

The incident was brought to the attention of Benoni City Times after the parents, Hannes and his wife, Annette, from Springs, were seeking answers from the hospital regarding their infant’s death in October last year.

READ MORE: ‘I had to pull my baby out of myself’: Horror stories of births at Yusuf Dadoo

Baby Jacques David Roets was born at 30 weeks on October 14 and died on October 28.

The couple chose the Benoni hospital because Annette’s doctor practised in this hospital.

According to the Roets’, the following took place at the hospital:

The doctor said Jacques was so strong at birth that he did not need an incubator, but an hour later, he was in one.

By the seventh day, the baby’s oxygen saturation (SATS) of 90 per cent/100 per cent dropped to 60 per cent and he was red from head to tummy and white downwards.

One of the nurses said the infant needed to be placed on a nebuliser, and as she tried to remove the air pipe, the parents noticed that the air pipe had a plaster around the supply pipe. This resulted in the baby having a breathing restriction.

“The pipe was fixed and the SATS increased and breathing returned to normal,” Hannes said.

At night, the parents called the hospital, but the call was not answered until a few attempts later when they finally got through to the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU).

“My wife met with the hospital about the pipe incident and we were told that it was to save costs,” Hannes said.

On October 27, Jacques was taken out of the red zone to the orange zone but that evening Jacques was yellow and had purple veins.

“The sister then drained his stomach and told us to go home,” Hannes said.

Later that evening the sister said Jacques was in good condition, he was asleep, and his SATS, blood pressure and oxygen were good.

Hannes said the doctor walked in after seven hours (since they left) and they were told they would be called at a later stage.

The weekend doctor could not reach their regular doctor, but she told the parents she suspected Jacques had an abdominal perforation.

Hannes said he was told the suspicion was correct and his son needed to be transferred to the Netcare Waterfall City Hospital, in Midrand, by ambulance where he and Annette could visit the child.

However, at 4am on October 28, the parents contacted the nurse to find out if the ambulance had arrived at Glynnwood yet, but there was no response.

“My wife and I arrived at the hospital at 5.20am and noticed there was no ambulance on either side of the hospital,” Hannes said.

The parents were then approached by the trauma sister who said they were resuscitating baby Jacques.

“I heard my wife screaming at the trauma sister, who then told her our baby had died,” Hannes said.

According to Hannes, it took the ambulance three hours to arrive.

Glynnwood Hospital has responded to the allegations.

Deon Smith, hospital manager at Life The Glynnwood, reiterated their sincere condolences to the family and said they are doing everything possible to provide support.

“The hospital’s management has held a number of meetings with the family to address their concerns,” Smith said.

“Our main priority is the safety and well-being of our patients. An internal investigation was conducted and has been concluded.”

Smith said the investigation was to understand the details of the incident and they are satisfied with the way that the doctors and the hospital staff responded to this situation.

“Life The Glynnwood follows strict patient confidentiality protocols, in line with Life Healthcare Group policies. Therefore, we are not at liberty to divulge further information on the matter,” he concluded.

However, the Roets’s remain unsatisfied with the service from Life The Glynnwood.

“My son has been buried and we are still receiving hospital bills,” he said.

The family is currently seeking legal advice.

They are meeting with the hospital again on Friday (May 11) to discuss the incident and the status of the investigation into their son’s death.

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