Wife accuses hospital of negligence in husband's death

30 December 2014 | Health

The wife of a man who died on Monday is accusing the staff of the Mariental District Hospital of negligence. Luzette de Klerk said the hospital should have transferred her husband to Windhoek, realising that he needed specialist treatment. She told Namibian Sun that her husband, Pedro de Klerk, was suffering from a hernia which led to infection. He was rushed to Windhoek for emergency surgery on Sunday but died on Monday morning. Dr Samuel Lyimo, Head of the Mariental District Hospital, said an investigation must be conducted to determine whether there was negligence. He maintained there was no negligence as they followed the referral protocol. “You have to stabilise a patient, arrange with Windhoek for transfer, call the department to which the transfer is intended, give reasons for transfer and Windhoek will tell you what to do before the transfer is made,” he explained. According to him proper consultation was done before the referral was done. “The patient did not die in Mariental District Hospital,” he emphasised. Lyimo said internal and external investigations would be conducted to determine whether there was negligence. “The external investigation will be conducted by the Health Professional Council while internal one is conducted by the Ministry of Health,” he said. Luzette de Klerk argued that her husband should not have been kept at the Mariental District Hospital because the doctors should have realised that they could not handle the case. According to her, Dr Lyimo refused to go and see her husband when she called him on December 24 and 25. She said her husband was eventually transferred to Windhoek on Sunday afternoon after “endless pressure” from her. De Klerk said a private doctor had diagnosed a hernia on December 12 and referred her husband to Windhoek to see a specialist. The specialist referred them to the Katutura State Hospital, where a State surgeon recommended that her husband lose some weight first and return in January for further tests and possible surgery. Pedro de Klerk was admitted to the Mariental State Hospital on December 22. The next day, the hospital superintendent said he should go home and his wife should administer the necessary treatment. De Klerk objected to that and the superintendent eventually agreed to keep him in hospital. “After he was readmitted my husband’s condition deteriorated and he developed abscesses and he remained unstable,” she claimed. According to her, she again approached the private doctor after Lyimo refused to see her husband. The private doctor then requested an immediate transfer to Windhoek, but it was already too late, she said. WINDHOEK FRED GOEIEMAN

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