Parirenyatwa Group of Hospitals has denied allegations of negligence by the mother of a four-year-old girl who died from severe burns while admitted at the health institution.
Catherine Charumbira alleged that staff at the Parirenyatwa neglected to attend to her child, Dephine Gwerevende, possibly causing her death a few days after she was admitted to the hospital.
Dephine, who was an ECD A pupil at Little Rider preschool in Tynwald suburb, sustained burns to 17 per cent of her body on Monday last week.
She accidentally tipped a pot of boiling water from a stove before slipping and rolling in the water resulting in burns on her back, arms and right leg.
Dephine’s mother said she was immediately rushed to Parirenyatwa Hospital where nurses put her on a drip and admitted her into the resuscitation room.
Charumbira alleged that thereafter, nursing staff at the hospital completely ignored Dephine who succumbed to her injuries on Friday morning.
She said nurses kept telling them they were looking for specialist doctors who deal with burns, and at one point, one of the nurses told her to go to a private hospital.
Charumbira said nurses only started attending to the child after they had made the call to a senior Government official.
However, Dephine’s condition continued to deteriorate in the coming days and despite doctors undertaking a procedure to drain bloody phlegm from around her chest area, on Friday, she died the same day around mid-morning.
Parirenyatwa Hospital spokesperson Linos Dhire denied allegations of negligence, saying a post-mortem and further investigations will help determine the cause of death. Said Dhire:
Indeed, the child was presented at Parirenyatwa Group of Hospitals as an emergency with burns on her back and the right leg.
She was taken straight to the resuscitation room where all critical emergencies are attended to.
A resuscitation room is an emergency Intensive Care Unit (ICU) and is not a waiting room, so she was not neglected.
That is the room where she received drip (intravenous fluids) and some pain killers.
A casualty doctor immediately examined the child to determine the extent of the injury and prescribed appropriate medication, which was given.
The same doctor referred the child to general surgeons for take-over.
General surgeons attended to the child on the same day and after further examinations referred the child to plastic surgeons.
The plastic surgeon on call attended to the child on the same day and ordered admission to the ward.
The child remained under close supervision in the resuscitation room when all the above doctors attended to her until she was taken to ward B8 (Burns Unit) at 12 am.
So she was moved to the wards after doctors were satisfied that she had stabilised.
As such, the child was not neglected but the extent and nature of the injuries may have predisposed her to complications.
We have notes detailing the whole process.