Poor Care in Hospital Forces Docs to Amputate Severely Burned Girl's Legs

Doctors said they were forced to amputate the legs of a toddler who was being treated for severe burns to her hands, health24.com reported.

Thembisa Nikelo, 2, was brought to the Far East Rand Hospital in Springs, South Africa in September after she suffered burns on her face and hands. When her legs became gangrenous, the girl was transferred to Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Academic Hospital, and it was there that doctors amputated her legs.

Doctors said the gangrene did not set in because of the IV drips they used to treat Thembisa, but they were concerned that the child received sub-standard care at the hospital.

"Our primary concern relates to a failure by doctors to recognize the severity of the child's clinical condition, the degree of senior supervision, oversight and involvement," doctors said in their report. The report said there was "inadequate communication" between the child's surgeons and pediatricians, and no one ever suggested treating Thembisa in the intensive care unit.

The report stated that if Thembisa was transferred to the hospital in Johannesburg sooner, amputation might have been avoided.

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