A DZIVARESEKWA woman reportedly lost her hand due to a medical negligence at Mbuya Nehanda Maternity Hospital after she was left with a tourniquet for days.
Netsai Matibe, 43, who had been transferred from Nehanda Clinic in Dzivaresekwa after her placenta retained resulting in profuse bleeding while giving birth says what was supposed to be a life saving moment resulted in the loss of her hand.
Netsai said one of the nurses left her with a tourniquet which was only removed after two days and by then gangrene had set in on the hand.
“I had just given birth and due to a retained placenta, I was transferred to Mbuya Nehanda Maternity Hospital.
“Ndakasiwa glove rakasungwa paruwoko pavaitsvaga tsinga. Glove racho rakatozobviswa after two days pandakapinda mutheatre. By then my hand was swollen, dark and it was giving me so much pain.
Mbuya Nehanda Maternity is a unit of Parirenyatwa Group of Hospitals.
When she complained of pain from the hand, she alleges that she was injected and believes she passed out only to wake up with cuts on the hand.
“Chiremba pavakaratidzwa ruwoko rwangu, vakandibaya injection rechiveve rakabva randiradzika zve. Pandakamuka ruwoko rwanga rwachekwa chekwa hanzi vaida kuti tsinga dzitwasike,” narrated Netsai.
She added that she was terrified seeing the cuts that were on her hand and the bleeding also.
“I was horrified and shocked and about as sad as I ever have been in my life,” she said. Little did she know that the worst was yet to come as she was to lose her hand.
She developed what they call compartment syndrome on the right hand according to her medical card as a result of the tourniquet and doctors then recommended amputation without any counselling or anyone trying to explain to her what had happened, which she refused and requested to be discharged after her week stay in hospital.
“I requested to be discharged as I was not satisfied by the type of treatment I was now getting. Doctors were visiting my bed in an intimidating way as they tried to convince me to have the amputation done.
It was the manner in which I was being harassed that really made me request to be discharged. No one was apologising for the harm they had caused and all they wanted was to amputate me to cover up for what had happened,” she added.
Netsai was discharged and had to be assisted to nurse her newborn as she struggled with the painful hand. The mutilation continued and her fingers started falling. To compound her misery, she lost her baby who was now seven-months-old and then her fingers were starting to fall.
She adds that she was too traumatised to go back to Parirenyatwa Group of Hospitals due to the treatment she had received and she watched all her fingers falling and by March 2015, she had lost all her fingers and part of her hand up to the wrist was mutilated.
“It was a traumatic time for me. I lost my baby while I was also losing my hand. I tried to get treatment at mission hospitals around the country but that could not save my hand,” she said.
Netsai says she only approached the hospital this year lodging a complaint.
Commenting on why it took her two years to approach the hospital, Netsai said she was too weak to move as the hand gave her excruciating pain and the loss of her baby was also traumatising to her.
“At the time I concentrated on healing and I just did not have power to move. Remember I lost a lot of blood and the hand is still giving me so much pain especially when it’s cold.”
Parirenyatwa Group of Hospitals through its public relations confirmed that they were seized with the matter noting that investigations were underway.
“We confirm that we received a complaint from the said patient some two weeks ago and the patient was advised to wait for the outcome of the investigations.
“The investigations are still underway and the hospital will only be in a position to give a comprehensive comment after investigations are completed. Parirenyatwa Groups of Hospitals treats all complaints received fairly and responsibly.”
Once a till operator, Netsai said she was robbed of her livelihood when she lost her hand. Besides the loss of the right hand, she adds that she is too weak and can hardly work.
Mostly, the struggle is to continue a life without her right hand.