Published:  2015-11-17 Views:  1426
Author:  Fanie
Published in:  Services Review
Jono - Proud Father, But Disgruntled With Their Hospital Experience

17 June 2015

Many of us will remember our local paramedic, Jonathan Theron, who has since moved from Harties and started a photography studio. He became a proud father yesterday and is now very happy, though see below his description of their hospital experience:


On Friday 13 November, at 05h30, I took Bianca in to have a C-Section, which was booked for the day.
Upon entering 162 – Maternity Admissions/Casualty – we were screamed and shouted at by the “Head Sister” on the Nights Shift, chased out, and treated worse than Dogs!

It was to our horror, that we later found out that she was no longer no. 1 on the list, due to a backlog of 13 patients from Tuesday, but this was only the “start of the nightmare”.
After waiting an entire day, of her not being able to eat or drink anything, she was finally told at 18h00 that indeed the operation would not be taking place, and that she would have to sleep over.

The irony here: the words “sleep over”. 
Maternity Patients are expected to “sleep” whilst sitting on a hard plastic chair. No beds, no pillows, no blankets – nothing!
After spending the entire night awake, Saturday morning arrived, and we expected for her to go in for her C-Section. After asking what was happening, she was told by the day staff, that they themselves don’t know what is happening. This continued right throughout the day.

This is supposed to be an Academic hospital – how on earth can NO ONE be able to tell us what is happening?

After waiting the entire time (from 05h30 Friday morning) – I decided it was time for some answers. I went home and changed into my “ems medical uniform”, because as a normal person, you get shouted at, ignored, and treated worse than an animal.
I arrived back at Maternity Casualty, and I stood by the door, waiting to catch the Dr as he walked past. The security at the door were now “magically” friendly, and asked me why I was standing at the door. I stated that I was waiting to talk to the Dr, and she politely asked me if she could go and tell the Dr that I wanted to talk to him.

Within 2 minutes, I was inside, and talking to the Dr.

I asked what was going on, why nothing had been done, and requested to take Bianca home to bath, eat and sleep, seeing as nothing was going to happen until Monday morning – yes – ONLY Monday morning! He explained that they were not doing ANY elective surgeries, only Emergency surgeries and deliveries.
It’s the weekend. ONE Dr on duty during the day – and ONE Dr on duty at night, and this ONE Dr is expected to do normal deliveries and C-Section surgeries.

This in an Academic Hospital, that has TWO THEATRES for Maternities, where at least 3 or more Dr’s should be on duty, especially if they know they have a 4 day backlog of patients, PLUS the Emergency cases.

I am a medic, and the first thing you should do with a patient that isn’t allowed to eat or drink, is to put up an I.V. line to administer fluids. This never took place on Friday or Saturday AT ALL. When questionig the Dr, he later asked Bianca where her drip was, and he himself stated that there had been complaints about the night staff not doing their jobs. This is not only a Night Shift problem, but this is a Day Shift problem too – as we had experienced both Day and Night Shifts, and NO NURSES or Dr’s put up an I.V. line at all, in a 36 hour time period.

Maternity Patients are meant to be checked every 4 hours – and this also never took place! She was checked the morning we went in (around 08h00), and again at 16h15 yesterday. What we are experiencing is a bunch of incompetent staff members, who have no clue how to do perform their duties, and if you DARE ask, you either get screamed and shouted at, or you get answers of “eish – I don’t know”.

If you thought that was bad – here comes the “real shocker”…

Whilst sitting and waiting in Maternity Casualties on Friday Afternoon, the nursing staff came and told patients to not worry if the see Police or any other people walking in, because a patient had just died whilst giving birth. I noticed the Forensic Pathology van outside, and now suddenly things made sense.

Later Friday evening – it happened again!!!!

This time, a Mother and Unborn Baby passed away, due to the negligence of the Night Shift Staff. A patient was brought into the Maternity Casualty by Ambulance, and handed over to the Night Shift Staff. She had a heart monitor on her, as well as oxygen. She was left on an examination bed, where the medics dropped her, and wasn’t attended to at all, UNTIL she died, and the Monitor beeped. Staff the “suddenly” rushed to her – but it was all too late, Mother and Child had already died!

So, in what is meant to be one of South Africa’s Top Academic Medical Institutions, we have patients and fathers getting treated like animals, patients dying due to incompetent and ignorant staff, patients that need to “sleep” on plastic chairs, expected to dehydrate due to NO fluids being administered intra-venously, fathers that are expected to wait, with no waiting area or chairs available, and a shortage of Dr’s working when the Emergency Room is not only over full, but when they know they have a 4 day backlog of patients, even though there are Theatres available.

Good luck if you expect to be treated with any form of respect – because clearly – unless you manage to be a medic and arrive in uniform, you are simply nothing, and can expect to be treated like an animal, not as a human being. This goes for both patients, and family members…

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