General News of 2014-02-11

2 Children lose limbs due to wrong use of intravenous infusion

Alleged professional negligence in the administration of intravenous infusion to two children has led to the amputation of their limbs.

The victims, both males, are a 10-month-old baby, Mohammed Hafiz, whose left arm has been amputated, and two-and-half-year-old Prosper Nsumba, who has had his right arm amputated.

The incidents occurred separately at a private clinic in Tamale and at the Bimbilla Hospital in the Nanumba South District in the Northern Region.

While Hafiz was sent to the clinic for diarrhoea and vomiting in December, 2013, Nsumba was rushed to the Bimbilla Hospital following relentless dysentery and vomiting in March, 2012.

Guardians of both victims subsequently made complaints to the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) to seek redress over the alleged abuse of the children’s rights.

Speaking to the Daily Graphic in Tamale, the Northern Regional Director of CHRAJ, Mr Stephen Azantilow, said while investigations into Hafiz’s case were yet to be completed, those into Nsumba’s had since been concluded.

Close down clinic He, however, recommended that the private clinic be closed down to save other patients from similar trauma at the facility.

He said the clinic is managed by a senior nursing practitioner at the Tamale Teaching Hospital (TTH), Alhaji Awudu M. Musah Santos.

Other supporting nurses are Wahab Yussif, Peter Sandow and one Baako, all employees of the Health ministry.

Mr Azantilow explained that Hafiz, who was suffering from diarrhoea and vomiting, had been sent to the said clinic at House Number B242 at Tishigu, opposite the Bethel Methodist Church, for treatment last December.

The victim was subsequently given an intravenous infusion, leading to the swelling of the hand. Even though the boy’s mother complained during the process, her concerns were ignored.

The little boy was later offered medication, but that did not help, as the hand continued to swell and degenerated into gangrene, a situation in which the soft tissue of a diseased part of the body decays as a result of lack of blood flow to the affected part.

The victim was later rushed to the TTH, where his limb was amputated to prevent the disease from spreading to other parts of the body.

CHRAJ investigations “The commission’s investigations, after a complaint had been made to us, had revealed that the said treatment at the clinic was given without proper medical supervision, as should have been the case,” he said.

The CHRAJ, therefore, suggested that while investigations were ongoing, “the Ministry of Health should take action to ensure the immediate closure of the clinic to save people and prevent the abuse of the rights of unsuspecting patients”.

Mr Azantilow also requested that the ministry should institute an investigation into the conduct of the suspects “who are illegally operating this facility against all the norms and practices of the nursing and health profession”.

In Nsumba’s case, he was sent to the Bimbilla Hospital for treatment on March 29, 2012 because he had dysentery and was vomiting. He was also given an intravenous infusion, leading to the swelling of the hand.

Several attempts by his mother to draw the attention of the nurse on duty to the fact that the fluid was not flowing was met with negative responses, leading to the worsening of the situation, as the swollen portion began to turn dark.

Nsumba was subsequently discharged from the hospital, even though the hand was still swollen.

While at home, his situation became worse, leading to his re-admission to the hospital on April 12, 2012, from where he was later referred to the TTH.

On his arrival at the TTH, it was detected that the hand had become gangrenous and it was, therefore, amputated to prevent it from affecting other areas of his body.