PATIENTS DIE AS BARA BURNS UNIT TURNS THEM AWAY

Jack Bloom MPL

DA Gauteng Health Spokesman

Answers are needed why the burns unit at the Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital turned away two patients this week who later died in agony.

Writing in the Daily Maverick, Mandy de Waal wrote a heart-rending story about Godfrey Tenehi, who was critically burnt in a shack fire on Sunday (1 July) but refused admission to Bara’s famed burn treatment centre. He died after fourteen agonising hours in an open ward where he was treated shoddily.

I have been informed of another shocking case by Mr George Cloete whose 50-year-old sister Mrs Lorraigne Teixeira died on Monday evening (2 July) after being burnt on 80 percent of her body in a fire at her house in Turffontein in south Johannesburg.

She was initially taken in the early hours of Monday morning to the South Rand Hospital where she was placed on a small bench. He was told they did not have the expertise to treat her.

Mr Cloete made frantic phone calls to get her admitted to the Chris Hani Baragwanath, but was told that no beds were available. After calling a private ambulance at about 6 pm the medics said they were awaiting authorisation from Bara’s CEO Ms Johanna More, but this was not given.

Mrs Teixeira died at about midnight that evening.

These two tragic cases highlight severe deficiencies in treatment of burn victims, especially now in winter when fire is more common.

We need to know what is being done to improve capacity to treat burns victims at Bara hospital with compassion and skill.

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