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Investigation launched at Waterval Boven hospital after medical waste left in room

The Mpumalanga Department of Health has launched an investigation at Waterval Boven Provincial Hospital after the parents of a 20-month-old girl complained about conditions in one of its rooms after their child was admitted.

Andries and Monique Pretorius, the parents of Liané, were shocked last Saturday when their toddler was admitted for treatment and they found a used unit of blood, a transfusion pipe as well a container full of used injection needles in the room.

Pretorius, who lives in Lydenburg, said they had taken their daughter to the hospital after she developed a high fever, while they were visiting family in Waterval Boven.

“We were stunned when we got to the hospital and saw how dirty the reception area was. But we never expected to find an empty blood bag on the bedside table,” Pretorius told News24.

“On the floor we found a used blood transfusion pipe as well as a container with used syringe needles in the room.”

The couple informed the ward staff about the state of the room. They were told it would soon be cleaned.

They were so distraught that Monique decided to rather spend the night in hospital with Liané.

“When I went to hospital at around 10:30 on Sunday to fetch my family, the discarded blood bag was still lying on Liané’s bedside table. The room was never cleaned.”

Dumisani Malumela, spokesperson of the department, said protocol is that after a patient is discharged, the area and bed is cleaned.

In some instances, new patients will be given preference in terms of attendance and then the cleaning will be done when the admission is completed.

“Medical waste is discarded in the bins and once the admission/discharge procedure is completed, it is removed to a safe area.

“Indeed, the (specific) room might have looked like that during the admission process but [it] was cleaned after the [admission] process.”

When News24 pointed out to him that the medical waste was not removed by Sunday morning, he said a task team would urgently investigate the matter to see if the hospital gave head office misleading information.

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